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F* M UuscrrtfS 



Sylvia Pankhurst designing a part of the decorations of 
the Prince's Skating Rink 



1905 — 1910 



** You have made of your Prisons a temple of honour." 

W. E. Gladstone 



Copyright 1 9 1 1 

Set up and electrotyped. Published May, 191 1 

3 2.Y-3 


This history of the Women's Suffrage agitation 
is written at a time when the question is in the very 
forefront of British politics. What the immediate 
future holds for those women who are most actively 
engaged in fighting for their political freedom no 
one can foretell, but one thing is certain: complete 
victory for their cause is not far distant. 

When the long struggle for the enfranchisement 
of women is over, those who read the history of the 
movement will wonder at the blindness that led the 
Government of the day to obstinately resist so simple 
and obvious a measure of justice. 

The men and women of the coming time will, I 
am persuaded, be filled with admiration for the 
patient work of the early pioneers and the heroic 
determination and persistence in spite of coercion, 
repression, misrepresentation, and insult of those 
who fought the later militant fight. 

Perhaps the women born in the happier days that 
are to come, while rejoicing in the inheritance that 
we of to-day are preparing for them, may sometimes 
wish that they could have lived in the heroic days 
of stress and struggle and have shared with us the 
joy of battle, the exaltation that comes of sacrifice 
of self for great objects and the prophetic vision 
that assures us of the certain triumph of this twen- 
tieth-century fight for human emancipation. 

E. Pankhurst. 
4, Clement's Inn, W. C, London. 
January, 191 i. 


In writing this history of the Militant Women's 
Suffrage Movement I have endeavoured to give a 
just and accurate account of its progress and happen- 
ings, dealing fully with as many of its incidents as 
space will permit. I have tried to let my readers 
look behind the scenes in order that they may under- 
stand both the steps by which the movement has 
grown and the motives and ideas that have animated 
its promoters. 

I believe that women striving for enfranchisement 
in other lands and reformers of future days may 
learn with renewed hope and confidence how the 
" family party," who in 1905 set out determined to 
make votes for women the dominant issue of the 
politics of their time, in but six years drew to their 
standard the great woman's army of to-day. It is 
certain that the militant struggle in which this 
woman's army has engaged and which has come as 
the climax to the long, patient effort of the earlier 
pioneers, will rank amongst the great reform move- 
ments of the world. Set as it has been in modern 
humdrum days it can yet compare with any move- 
ment for variety and vivacity of incident. The ad- 
venturous and resourceful daring of the young Suf- 
fragettes who, by climbing up on roofs, by sliding 
down through skylights, by hiding under platforms, 
constantly succeeded in asking their endless questions, 
has never been excelled. What could be more 


piquant than the fact that two of the Cabinet Min- 
isters who were carrying out a policy of coercion to- 
wards the women should have teen forced into the 
witness box to be questioned and cross-questioned by 
Miss Christabel Pankhurst, the prisoner in the dock? 
What, too, could throw a keener searchlight upon 
the methods of our statesmen than the evidence put 
forward in the course of that trial? 

To many of our contemporaries perhaps the most 
remarkable feature of the militant movement has 
been the flinging-aside by thousands of women of 
the conventional standards that hedge us so closely 
round in these days for a right that large numbers 
of men who possess it scarcely value. Of course it 
was more difficult for the earlier militants to break 
through the conventionalities than for those who fol- 
lowed, but, as one of those associated with the move- 
ment from its inception, I believe that the effort was 
greater for those who first came forward to stand by 
the originators than for the little group by whom the 
first blows were struck. I believe this because I 
know that the original militants were already in close 
association with the truth that not only were the 
deeds of the old time pioneers and martyrs glorious, 
but that their work still lacks completion, and that 
it behoves those of us who have grasped an idea 
for human betterment to endure, if need be, social 
ostracism, violence, and hardship of all kinds, in 
order to establish it. Moreover, whilst the origi- 
nators of the militant tactics let fly their bolt, as it 
were, from the clear sky, their early associates rallied 
to their aid in the teeth of all the fierce and bitter 
opposition that had been raised. 

The hearts of students of the movement in after 


years will be stirred by the faith and endurance shown 
by the women who faced violence at the hands of the 
police and others in Parliament Square and at the 
Cabinet Minister meetings, and above all by the hero- 
ism of the noble women who went through the hunger 
strike and the mental and physical torture of forcible 

A passionate love of freedom, a strong desire to do 
social service and an intense sympathy for the un- 
fortunate, together made the movement possible in 
its present form. Those who have worked as a part 
of it know that it is notable not merely for its en- 
thusiasm and courage, but also for its cheery spirit 
of loyalty and comradeship, its patient thoroughness 
in organisation which has made possible its many 
great demonstrations and processions, its freedom 
from bitterness and recrimination, and its firm faith 
in the right. 

E. Sylvia Pankhurst. 

London, May, 191 !• 



Sylvia Pankhurst designing a part of the decx>ratioo8 of the 
Princess Skating Rink . ^ FrontUpiea 


Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney 35 

First Women's Suffrage Demonstration ever held in Trafalgar 
Square, May X9th, 1906. Mr. Keir Hardie speaking: Mrs. 
Pankhurst and Mrs. Wolstenholrae Elmy in centre of the 
platform So 

Selling and advertising ''Votes for Women" in Kingsway . 174 

Mrs. Pankhurst carrying a petition from the Third Women's 
Parliament to the Prime Minister on February zjth, 1908 . zoz 

The Head of the Procession to Hyde Park, June 21st, 1908 . 345 

A Section of the great ''Votes for Women" meeting in Hyde 
Park on June 2ist, 1908 247 

Lord Rosebery and other Members of both Houses watching 
the Suffragettes' struggle in Parliament Square, June 30th, 
X908 248 

Christabel Pankhurst inviting the public to "rush" the House 
of Commons, at a meeting in Trafalgar Square, Sunday, 
October nth, 1908 255 

Mrs. Pankhurst and Christabel hiding from the police in the 
roof garden at Clement's Inn, October Z2th, 1908 . . 257 

Reading the Warrant, October 13th, 1908 266 

Mr. Curtis Bennett listening to Miss Pankhurst's speech from 
the Dock, October, 1908 268 

Miss Christabel Pankhurst questioning Mr. Herbert Gladstone 285 

Mr. Herbert Gladstone in the witness-box being examined by 
Miss Christabel Pankhurst, October, 1908 300 



Members of the Women's Freedom League attempting to enter 
the House after the taking down of the grille, October zSth, 
1908 319 

Mrs. Pankhurst in Prxsoo 330 

Ejection of a woman questioner from BirrelPs meeting in the 
City Temple, November izth, 1908 333 

The Chelmsford Bye-Election 348 

The human letters dispatched by Miss Jessie Kenney to Mr. 
Asquith at No. 10 Downing Street, Jan. 23, 1909 . . .351 

Procession to welcome Mrs. Pankhurst, Christabel, and Mrs. 
Leigh <Mi their release from prison, December 19th, 1908 . 353 

Mrs. Lawrence's Release Procession, April 17th, 1909 . . 360 

The arrest of Miss Dora Marsden, the Standard Bearer, 
March 30th, 1909 362 

Elsie Howey who as Joan of Arc, rode at the he the pro- 
cession formed to celebrate Mrs. Pethick La^ release 
from prison 365 

A part of the decoration of the Exhibition held in the Prince's 
Skating Rink, May, 1909 369 

The band out for the first time. May, 1909 376 

Mrs. Pethick Lawrence's release, April X7th 380 

Christabel waving to the hungry strikers from a house over- 
looking the prison, July, 1909 383 

The hunger strikers waving to Christabel from their prison 
cells, July, 1909 394 

Forcible Feeding with the Nasal Tube 433 

Lady Constance Lytton before she threw the stone at New 
Castle, October 9th, 1909 440 

Arrest of Miss Dora Marsden outside the Victoria University 
of Manchester, October 4th, 1909 444 

Jessie Kenney as she tried to gain admittance to Mr. Asquith's 
meeting on Dec. 10, 1909, disguised as a telegraph boy . . 476 



From the Formation of the Women's Social and 
Political Union to the Summer of 1905. 

From her girlhood my mother, the founder of 
the Women's Social and Political Union, had been 
inspired by stories of the early reform movements, 
and even before this, at an age when most children 
have scarcely learnt their alphabet, her father, 
Robert Goulden, of Manchester, set her to read his 
newspaper to him at breakfast and thus awakened 
her lasting interest in politics. 

The Franco-German War was still a much-dis- 
cussed event when Robert Goulden took his thirteen- 
year-old daughter to school in Paris, placing her at 
the Ecole Normale, where she became the room- 
companion of Henri Rochfort's daughter, Noemie. 
Noemie Rochfort told her little English schoolfel- 
low much of her own father's adventurous career, 
and Emmeline Goulden soon became an ardent and 
enthusiastic republican. She was now delighted to 
discover that she had been born on the anniversary 
of the destruction of the Bastille and was proud 
to tell her friend that her own grandmother had 
been an earnest politician, and one of the earliest 



members of the Anti-Corn Law League, and that 
her grandfather had narrowly escaped death upon 
the field of Peterloo. Even before her school days 
in Paris she had been taken by her mother to a 
Women's Suffrage meeting addressed by Miss Lydia 

On returning home to England, Emmeline 
Goulden settled down at seventeen years of age to 
help her mother in the care of her eight younger 
brothers and sisters, and when she was twenty-one 
she married Dr. Richard Marsden Pankhurst, who 
was many years older than herself, and had long 
been well known as a public man. 

Dr. Pankhurst had been one of the founders of 
the pioneer Manchester Women's Suffrage Com- 
mittee and one of its most active workers in the early 
days. He had drafted the original Women's En- 
franchisement Bill, then called the Women's Disa- 
bilities Removal Bill, to give votes to women on the 
same terms as men, which had first been introduced 
by Mr. Jacob Bright in 1870 and had then passed 
its Second Reading in the House of Commons by 
a majority of thirty-three. With Lord Coleridge, 
Dr. Pankhurst had acted as counsel for the women 
who had claifned to be put upon the Parliamentary 
Register in the case of Chorlton v. Lings in 1868. 
He was also at the time one of the most prominent 
members of the Married Women's Property Com- 
mittee and had drafted the Bill to give married 
women the absolute right to their own property and 
to sue and be sued in the Courts of Law, which was 
so soon to be placed as an Act upon the Statute 
Book. Two years before this great Act became 
law, Mrs. Pankhurst was elected to the Married 



Women's Property Committee, and at the same time 
she became a member of the Manchester Women's 
Suffrage Committee. 

In 1889 "^y parents helped to form the Women's 
Franchise League. My sister Christabel and I, 
then nine and seven years old, already took a lively 
interest in all the proceedings, and tried as hard 
as we Gould to make ourselves useful, writing out 
notices in big, uncertain letters and distributing leaf- 
lets to the guests at a three days' Conference held in 
our own home. About this time we two children 
had begun to attend Women's Suffrage and other 
public meetings, and these we reported in a little 
manuscript magazine, which we both wrote and illus- 
trated. When some few years afterwards, owing 
chiefly to lack of funds and the ill health of its most 
prominent workers, the Women's Franchise League 
was discontinued. Dr. and Mrs. Pankhurst returned 
to Manchester and worked mainly for general ques- 
tions of social reform. Years before, my mother 
had joined the Women's Liberal Federation in the 
hope that it would work to remove both the political 
and economic grievances of women and to raise the 
status of women generally, but finding that the Fede- 
ration was being used merely to forward the interests 
of the Liberal Party, of which women could not be 
members and in the formation of whose programme 
they were allowed no voice, she had resigned her 
membership. In 1894 she and Dr. Pankhurst joined 
the Independent Labour Party, one of the decisive 
reasons for this step being that, unlike the Liberal 
and Conservative parties, the Independent Labour 
Party admitted men and women to membership on 
equal terms. In the same year Mrs. Pankhurst was 


elected to the Chorlton Board of Guardians, and 
remained a member of that body for four years. 
This experience taught her much of the pressing 
needs of the poor, and of the bitter hardships, espe- 
cially, of the women's lives. 

After Dr. Pankhurst's death, in 1898, Mrs. Pank- 
hurst retired from the Board of Guardians and be- 
came a Registrar of Births and Deaths. 

For the next few years, my mother took no active 
part in politics, except as a member of the Man- 
chester School Board,^ but in 1901 my sister 
Christabel became greatly interested in the Suffrage 
propaganda organised by Miss Esther Roper, Miss 
Eva Gore-Booth, and Mrs. Sarah Dickinson amongst 
the women textile workers. She was also elected to 
the Manchester Women's Suffrage Committee, of 
which Miss Roper was Secretary. Christabel soon 
struck out a new line for herself. Impressed by the 
growing strength of the Labour Movement she be- 
gan to see the necessity of converting to the question 
of Women's Suffrage the various Trade Union organ- 
isations, which were upon the eve of becoming a 
concrete force in politics. She therefore made it her 
business to address as many of the Trade Unions as 
were willing to receive her. 

We were all much interested in Christabel's work 
and my mother's enthusiasm was quickly re-awak- 
ened. The experiences of her later years had 
brought her a keener insight into the results of the 
political disabilities of women, against which she had 
rebelled as a high-spirited girl, and she now realised 

^When the School Boards were abolished, Mrs. Pankhurst 
became the Trades Council Representative on the Education 


more strongly than ever before, the urgent and imme- 
diate need for the enfranchisement of her sex. She 
became filled with the consciousness that her duty lay 
in forcing this one question into the forefront of 
practical politics, even if in so doing she should 
find it necessary to give up all her other work. The 
Women's Suffrage cause, and the various ways in 
which to further its interests were now constantly 
present in all our minds. A glance at the early 
history of the movement, to say nothing of personal 
experience, was enough to show that the Liberal and 
Conservative parties had no intention of taking the 
question up, and, after mature consideration, my 
mother at last decided that a separate women's 
organisation must be formed. Therefore, on Octo- 
ber ID, 1903, she invited a number of women to 
meet at our home, 62 Nelson Street, Manchester, 
and the Women's Social and Political Union was 
formed. Almost all the women who were present 
on that original occasion were working-women. 
Members of the Labour Movement, but it was de- 
cided from the first that the Union should be entirely 
independent of Class and Party. 

The phrase *' Votes for Women " was now for the 
first time in the history of the movement adopted 
as a watchword by the new Union. The propaganda 
work was at first mainly carried on amongst the 
women workers of Lancashire and Yorkshire and, 
in the Spring of 1904, as a result of the Women's 
Social and Political Union's activities, the Annual 
Conference of the Independent Labour Party in- 
structed its Administrative Council to prepare a Bill 
for the Enfranchisement of Women to be laid before 
Parliament in the forthcoming session. This Reso- 


lution, though carried by an overwhelming majority, 
had been bitterly opposed by a minority of the Con- 
ference, who asserted that the Labour Party should 
not concern itself with a partial measure of enfran- 
chisement, but should work directly to secure uni- 
versal adult suffrage for both men and women. 

Therefore, before preparing any special measure, 
the National Administrative Council of the Inde- 
pendent Labour Party went very carefully into the 
whole question. They were advised by Mr. Keir 
Hardie and others who understood Parliamentary 
procedure that a measure for universal adult suf- 
frage, which would not only bring about most sweep- 
ing changes, but would open countless avenues for 
discussion and consequent obstruction, could never 
hope to be carried through Parliament except by the 
responsible Government of the day. It was, there- 
fore, useless for the Labour representatives to attempt 
to introduce such a measure. In addition to this, it 
was pointed out that, whilst a large majority of the 
Members of the House of Commons had already 
pledged themselves to support an equal Bill to give 
votes to women on the same terms as men, no sub- 
stantial measure of Parliamentary support had as 
yet been obtained for adult suffrage, even If con- 
fined to men. Taking into consideration also the 
present state of both public and Parliamentary feel- 
ing and with a million more women than men in the 
British Isles, there was absolutely no chance of car- 
rying into law any proposal to give a vote to every 
grown man and woman in the country. Having thus 
arrived at the conclusion that an adult suffrage 
measure was out of the question, the Council now 
carefully inquired into the various classes of women 


who were possessed of the qualifications which would 
have entitled them to vote had they been men. On 
its being ascertained that the majority would be 
householders, whose names were already upon the 
register of Municipal voters, the following circular 
was addressed to all the Independent Labour Party 

We address to your branch a very urgent request to as- 
certain from your local voting register the following par- 
ticulars : — 

(i) The total number of electors in the Ward. 

(2) The total number of women voters. 

(3) The number of women voters of the working classes. 

(4) The number of voters not of the working classes. 

It IS impossible to lay down a strict definition of the term 
" working classes," but for this purpose it will be sufficient 
to regard as working-class women, those who work for 
wages, who are domestically employed, or who are supported 
by the earnings of wage-earning children. 

It was not unnatural, that the majority of the 
branches failed to comply with a request which 
obviously entailed a very extensive work. Never- 
theless returns were sent in from between forty and 
fifty different towns and districts in various parts of 
the country and these showed the following results : ^ 

Total of electors on the Municipal register 423,321 

Total of Women Voters 59,920 

Total of Working Women Voters as defined above 49,410 

Total of Non-working Women Voters 10,510 

Percentage of Working Women Voters 82.45 

^In Booth's classic book. Life and Labour in London, the re- 
sult of a canvass of the then 186,982 women occupiers, shows 


On receiving these figures, the National Council 
of the Independent Labour Party decided to adopt 
the original Women's Enfranchisement Bill, which 
passed its Second Reading in 1870. The text of 
the Bill was as follows : 

In all Acts relating to the qualifications and registration 
of voters or persons entitled or claiming to be registered 
and to vote in the election of members of Parliament, wher- 
ever words occur which import the masculine gender the 
same shall be held to include women for all purposes con- 
nected with and having reference to the right to be reg- 
istered as voters and to vote in such election, any law or 
usage to the contrary notwithstanding. 

Meanwhile we of the Women's Social and Political 
Union were eagerly looking forward to the new 
session of Parliament. It is indeed wonderful, in 

that of that number 94,940 were wage earners who were divided 
into the following categories: — 

Charwomen, office-keepers, laundresses 30,334 

Dressmakers and milliners 14,361 

Shirt and blouse-makers, seamstresses 6,525 

Waitresses, matrons, etc 5,595 

Tailoresses 4443 

Lodging and coffee-house keepers 4,226 

Medical women, nurses, mid wives 3,97 1 

Teachers 2,198 

On the basis of Booth's figures. Miss Clara Collett, the Gov- 
ernment's Senior Inspector for Women's Industries, writing in 
the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society for September, 1908, 
estimated that the women occupiers of London might be divided 
as follows: — 

Occupied women (who work out) 51 per cent. 

Housewives (without servants) 38 

Housewives (with one servant) 5 

Housewives (with two or more servants) 6 



the midst of the great Women's Movement that is 
present with us to-day, to look back upon its small 
beginnings in that dreary and dismal time not yet 
six years ago. It seemed then well-nigh impossible 
to rouse the London women from their apathy upon 
this question, for the old Suffrage workers had lost 
heart and energy in the long struggle and those who 
had joined them in recent days saw no prospect that 
votes for women would ever come to pass. 

I myself was then a student at the Royal College 
of Art, South Kensington, but I decided to absent 
myself in order to help my mother, who had come 
down from Manchester to " lobby," as it is called, 
on those few important days. The House met on 
Tuesday, February 13, and during the eight days 
which intervened before the result of the Private 
Members' ballot was made known we spent the whole 
of our time in the Strangers' Lobby striving to 
induce every Member who had pledged himself to 
support Women's Suffrage to agree that his chance 
in the ballot should be given to a Women's Suffrage 
Bill. It was my first experience of Lobbying. I 
knew we had an uphill task before us, but I hid no 
conception of how hard and discouraging it was to 
be. Members of Parliament all told us that they 
had pledged themselves to do " something for their 
constituents " or had some other measure in which 
they were interested, or had not been in Parliament 
long and preferred to wait until they had more 
experience before they would care to ballot for a 
Bill at all. Oh, yes, they were ** in favour " of 
Women's Suffrage; they believed that "the ladies 
ought to have votes," but they really could not give 
their places in the ballot for the question; it was 


always '* anything but that," and during the whole 
of the week we spent in the Lobby we did not 
succeed in adding one single promise to that 
which we had originally received from Mr. Keir 

On the fateful Wednesday on which the result was 
declared, my mother and I were the only women in 
the Lobby. We sat there on the shiny black leather 
seats in the circular hall waiting for the result, and 
at list we saw with relief Mr. Keir Hardie's pictur- 
esque figure coming hurrying towards us from the 
Inner Lobby. He was so kind and helpful, the only 
kind and helpful person in the whole of Parliament, 
it seemed. At once he told us that his name had 
not been drawn in the ballot and explained that only 
the first twelve, or, at most, fourteen, places that had 
been drawn could be of any use to the Members who 
had secured them, and that, owing to the limited 
number of days upon which private Members' Bills 
could be discussed, only the first three or four had 
even a moderately good chance of becoming law.^ 
Our next move must therefore be to get in touch 
with the successful fourteen Members and to en- 
deavour to persuade one of them to devote his place 
in the ballot to a Women's Suffrage Bill. After 
considerable trouble we finally got into communication 
with all of them, and they all said " No," with the 
exception of Mr. Bam ford Slack, who held the four- 
teenth place, and who at last agreed to introduce our 
Bill, largely because his wife was a Suffragist and 
helped us to urge our cause. Of course the four- 
teenth place was not by any means a good one, and 

1 Even a first place is useless if the Government and the 
Speaker are hostile. 


the Bill was set down as the Second Order of the 
Day for Friday, May 12. 

In the meantime we drafted a petition in support 
of it and set ourselves to procure signatures. One 
Sunday evening I went with a bundle of petition 
forms to a meeting addressed by Mr. G. K. Chester- 
ton at Morriss Hall, Clapham. The lecturer's 
remarks were devoted to a eulogy of the French 
Revolution, from which he asserted all ideas of pop- 
ular representation had sprung. An opening, which 
I seized, was given for a question on the subject of 
votes for women in relation to the Government of 
our Colonies. Whilst the audience were asking 
questions and offering criticisms, Mr. Chesterton was 
busily making sketches of us all, but, though I saw 
myself being added to the picture gallery, in reply- 
ing to the questions raised in the debate afterwards, 
he did not answer my point. Afterwards, however, 
he came up and told me that he had forgotten to 
deal with it and then gave me an explanation. I 
had not asked, " Are you in favour of Votes for 
Women?" I had assumed that he was and he 
replied on the same assumption, and afterwards vol- 
untarily signed his name to my petition. It was with 
surprise, not untempered with amusement, therefore, 
that I afterwards found Mr. Chesterton coming for- 
ward as an active anti-suffragist, but his attitude 
seemed to me to be an augury of our speedy success, 
for he delights to champion unpopular causes and to 
oppose himself to the overwhelming and inevitable 
march of coming events. 

Many other women's societies, suffrage, organised 
petitions at this time, for the fact of having a Bill 
before the House of Commons for the first time for 


eight years, had sent a thrill of new life through 
them all. The result of our united efforts was that, 
when the twelfth of May came round, the Strangers' 
Lobby was densely crowded, and many of the women 
had to be drafted on to the Terrace, or to stand 
in the various passages leading from the Lobby. 
As well as the members of the various suffrage soci- 
eties, women of all classes, from the richest to the 
poorest, were represented in the gathering, and 
amongst the rest was a large contingent of women 
Co-operators, accompanied by Mrs. Nellie Alma 
Martel, of Australia, who had helped to win votes 
for women there, and had afterwards been run as a 
candidate for the Commonwealth Parliament, hav- 
ing polled more than 20,000 votes. 

Many of the women were quite pathetically con- 
fident that we were going to get Women's Suffrage 
then and there, but those df us who knew rather more, 
both of the stubborn character of our opponents and 
the antiquated Parliamentary procedure which ren- 
ders it possible for a handful of obstructionists to 
block any private Member's measure unless the Gov- 
ernment will come to its aid, knew that the Women's 
Enfranchisement Bill stood in a very precarious posi- 
tion. The question which occupied the first place on 
the day for which our own measure had been set 
down, was a simple, practically non-contentious little 
Bill, the object of which was to provide that carts 
travelling along the public roads by night should 
carry a light behind as well as before. We had spent 
weeks in bringing all possible pressure to bear, both 
upon the promoters of the Roadway Lighting Bill, 
that they might withdraw their measure, and upon 
the Conservative Government, In the hope that they 


would give special facilities for the further discussion 
of the Bill. In both directions we met with a re- 
fusal, but we would not give up hope. Finally on 
the very day of the Second Reading, when the anti- 
suffragists (as we had already foreseen would be the 
case) were amusing themselves by spinning out the 
debate on the Roadway Lighting Bill by pointless 
jokes and contemptible absurdities, Mrs. Pankhurst 
sent a message to Mr. Balfour telling him that if 
facilities for the passing into law of the Women's 
Enfranchisement Bill were not granted, the Women's 
Social and Political Union would work actively 
against the Government at the next General Elec- 
tion. This message produced no apparent effect; 
and from the meeting of the House, at twelve o'clock 
until half -past four in the afternoon, the discussion 
upon the Roadway Lighting Bill continued. Then 
only half an hour remained for our Bill, and this, 
amid irresponsible laughter, was " talked out." 

The news of what was being done had gradually 
filtered into the Lobby, and the attitude of the as- 
sembled women had changed from one of pleased 
expectancy to anger and dismay. A feeling of tense 
excitement seemed to run through the gathering. 
Some of the faces were flushed and others white, 
whilst many had tears in their eyes. Especially 
amongst the working women Co-operators feeling 
was running high. These women were eagerly 
looking forward to the time when they would be 
able to take their part side by side with men in set- 
tling the terrible social problems with which they 
were met on every hand. They bitterly resented 
the way in which they were being insulted by Mem- 
bers of the House of Commons; they wanted to do 


something to express their feelings of disapproval 
and when the order for strangers to leave the House 
was given, many of them seemed disinclined to go. 
Then some of the women who had been listening 
to the debate from behind the Grille in the Ladies' 
gallery, came down into the Lobby and told us that 
a strange man in the adjoining gallery had suddenly 
sprung up to protest against the way in which our 
question was being " talked out," he had been thrown 
out of the House by the police, and was now at 
the entrance to the Lobby. This piece of news 
created a diversion. The women flocked out to 
thank him. It was not until afterwards that we 
or they learned that the man was one of the un- 
employed bootmakers who had marched up from 
Leicester, and that he had not made his protest in 
our favour, but because he saw that the House was 
wasting hour after hour in laughing and joking, 
though the Government had assured him that it had 
no time to attend to the grievances of starving men. 
My mother now suggested that a meeting of 
protest should be held outside, arid Mrs. Wolsten- 
holme Elmy, the oldest worker in the Suffrage move- 
ment present, began to speak. The women crowded 
round to listen, but almost at once the police ordered 
us away and began striding in and out amongst us 
and pushing us apart. We thereupon moved to the 
foot of the Richard I statue, which stands just 
outside the door of the House of Lords, but again 
the police intervened, till, at last, after much argu- 
ment, the Inspector of Police offered to take us 
to a place where a meeting might be held. Mrs. 
Pankhurst then called upon Mrs. Martel, as an 
Australian woman voter, to lead us and, joined by a 


single Member of Parliament, Mr. Keir Hardie, we 
marched with the police to Broad Sanctuary, close 
to the gates of Westminster Abbey. Here we 
adopted a Resolution condemning the procedure of 
the House of Commons, which had made it possible 
for a small minority of opponents to prevent a vote 
being taken upon the Women's Enfranchisement 
Bill, and calling upon the Government to rescue it 
now and carry it into law. The meeting then dis- 
persed, vowing political vengeance upon the Govern- 
ment if this should not be done. 

It will be remembered that during the summer of 
1905 it was evident to the most casual observer 
that the resignation of the Conservative Government 
could not be long delayed. Mr. Chamberlain's 
Tariff Reform proposals were causing dissent in the 
Cabinet, and the resignation of several Ministers had 
already taken place. The South African War had 
brought a measure of overwhelmingly enthusiastic 
support to the Conservative Government but, as 
almost always happens in such cases, a reaction had 
set in, now that the war taxes had to be met. At the 
same time there was grave depression in the cotton 
trade, and consequent distress in the industrial dis- 
tricts. In order to cope with the trouble, Mr. 
Walter Long, on behalf of the Government, had 
introduced a Bill to provide relief work for the 
unemployed. This had met with serious opposition 
from his own party, and it had been subsequently 
announced that no further time could be found for 
the discussion of the measure. At this point the 
dispute which had arisen between the Scottish Free 
Church and the United Free Church of Scotland had 
become acute, and on June 7, Mr. Balfour had intro- 


duced the Scottish Churches Bill, which was hurried 
through its various stages and finally passed on 
July 26. It was urged that the Government ought 
not to have brought forward this new measure 
whilst the unemployed workmen Bill, to which they 
were already committed, had been set aside for lack 
of time. But Mr. Balfour excused himself by pro- 
testing that he had been obliged to carry the Scottish 
Churches Bill because a " crisis " had arisen. 

The unemployed and their leaders now stated that 
if Mr. Balfour needed a crisis to make him act, 
they would certainly provide him with a crisis. An 
uprising on a small scale accordingly took place in 
Manchester, in the course of which the unemployed, 
in spite of police prohibition, persisted in holding a 
meeting in Albert Square. Afterwards they marched 
in an irregular mass along Market Street, spreading 
all over the roadway and obstructing the traffic. A 
struggle with the police ensued, during which four 
men were arrested. The question of the Manchester 
" riot," as it was called, was at once raised by Mr. 
Keir Hardie as a matter of urgency in the House 
of Commons and, as a result, it was hastily carried 
through its remaining stages, though in a modified 

We of the Women's Social and Political Union 
had been much interested by the situation that had 
arisen, both in regard to the Unemployed and the 
Scottish Churches, and we determined to profit by 
the example of those who, by determined and decisive 
action, had secured a certain measure of considera- 
tion for their claims. It was only a question now 
of how much longer militant tactics were to be de- 
layed, and as to how they were to be inaugurated. 


A favourable opportunity for their dramatic com- 
mencement had not yet presented itself, but there 
was plenty of necessary propaganda work for the 
Women's Social and Political Union to do. 

One Sunday evening in June, Mrs. Pankhurst had 
been invited to speak on Women's Suffrage to a 
meeting held under the auspices of the Oldham Inde- 
pendent Labour Party. During the proceedings 
glees were sung by a choir of men and women cotton 
operatives, and one of the members of the choir 
was Annie Kenney, who was afterwards to take so 
prominent a part in the Votes for Women Move- 
ment. Annie Kenney was deeply impressed by all 
that Mrs. Pankhurst had to say, and shortly after- 
wards, when my sister Christabel also lectured in 
Oldham, she asked to be introduced to her. Christa- 
bel then asked her to pay a visit to our home in 
Manchester, and the friendship which was to have 
such far-reaching results began. 

Annie Kenney was born at Lees, near Oldham. 
She was the child of working-class parents, and, to 
supplement her father's earnings, her mother, in addi- 
tion to all her household cares, had been obliged 
to go out to work in a cotton mill most of her married 
life. Annie Kenney herself had early become a 
wage-earner, for at ten years of age she secured an 
engagement as a half-timer in one of the Oldham 
cotton factories. Then, wearing her heavy steel- 
tipped clogs, her fair hair hanging down her back in 
a long plait covered by a shawl, she had gone into 
the hot, crowded spinning mill, and working amid 
the noisy jarring of the machinery as a " little tenter " 
at the disposal of three older women, she had learnt 
to fit into place the big bobbins covered with fleecy 


strands of soft, raw cotton; and to piece these same 
fleecy strands when they broke, as they did so often, 
whilst they were being spun out thinner and stronger. 
Once, as she seized the broken thread in her tiny 
fingers, one of them was caught somehow and torn 
off by the whirling bobbins. Whilst she was still a 
half-timer she worked alternately, one week from 
six o'clock in the morning till midday in the mill, 
and during the afternoon at the elementary school; 
and the next week she spent the morning at school 
and four hours of the afternoon in the mill. At 
thirteen, her school days had ceased, and she had 
become a " full-timer," working in the mill from 
six o'clock in the morning till six at night. 

This premature launching forth into the world 
of wage-earners had left its mark upon Annie Ken- 
ney. Her features had been sharpened by it, and 
her eager face that flushed so easily was far more 
deeply lined than are the faces of girls whose child- 
hood has been prolonged. Those wide, wide eyes 
of hers, so wonderfully blue, though at rare moments 
they could dance and sparkle like a fountain in the 
sunshine, were more often filled with pain, anxiety 
and foreboding, or with a longing restless, searching, 
unsatisfied and far away. A member of a very large 
family, Annie had four sisters — Nellie,. Kitty, Jen- 
nie, and Jessie — who came nearest her'^m age and 
had been her companions in the cotton mill. In spite 
of the fact that they were constantly obliged to rise 
at four or five in the morning, in order to reach the 
factory gates at six o'clock, and on returning home 
were obliged first to help to do the housework and 
prepare the evening meal for the rest of the family, 
these girls were all determined to continue their edu- 


cation, and they regularly attended the Oldham night 
schools. At the time when we first met Annie, Nellie 
and Kitty, the two eldest of the sisters, had both 
worked their way out of the cotton mill. Nellie had 
become a shop assistant, and had soon proved herself 
so able that she had been put in charge of two of 
her employer's shops, whilst Kitty had passed the 
necessary examinations and had obtained a post as 
an elementary school teacher, and Jennie, though 
still in the mill, was studying with the same object. 
Jessie, who was but sixteen, was learning typewriting 
and shorthand. 

Annie, who was then twenty-five, was unlike her 
sisters in many ways. She frequently said that she 
was not so ** clever " as her sisters, but when any 
decisive step was to be taken or any question of prin- 
ciple to be decided, it was always Annie who took 
the lead. There is not much that is beautiful in a 
small Lancashire manufacturing town, but what little 
there was, Annie Kenney contrived to make the most 
of. She was a regular attendant at the Church, and 
delighted in the beauty of the music; the Whitsun- 
tide processions, in which she walked with the other 
Sunday-school children all in their white dresses, 
being vivid memories with her still. She early com- 
menced to carry on a literary campaign amongst her 
work-mates vand, having come across a copy of the 
penny weekly paper *' The Clarion,'* in which Robert 
Blatchford was publishing a series of articles on his 
"favourite books," contrived to procure some of 
the works which were there mentioned, and intro- 
duced them to her companions. 

On the few holidays which fall to the lot of the 
cotton worker, or when the mills were stopped owing 



to bad trade, Annie Kenney and her sisters and some 
of their favourite work-mates would put together a 
simple luncheon and set off roaming for miles across 
the moors. The grass and the trees might be black- 
ened with the smoke of the factories, the sight of 
whose tall chimneys the girls could never leave be- 
hind, but, blighted as it was, this was the only coun- 
try that Annie had ever known, and it was all beau- 
tiful to her. When they had walked till they were 
tired, the girls would lie down on the grass, and then 
they would read to each other in turn, and Annie 
would talk to them about the flowers and the sky. 

Just as she was intensely alive to all that was beau- 
tiful, so too Annie Kenney realised keenly the ugly 
and sordid side of life. When speaking of her early 
days to a conference of women in Germany, in 1908, 
she said: 

I grew up in the midst of women and girls in the works, 
and I saw the hard lives of the women and children about 
me. I noticed the great difference made in the treatment 
of men and women in the factory, differences in conditions, 
differences in wages and differences in status. I realised 
this difference not in the factory alone but in the home. 
I saw men, women, boys and girls, all working hard during 
the day in the same hot, stifling factories. Then when 
work was over I noticed that it was the mothers who hur- 
ried home, who fetched the children that had been put out 
to nurse, prepared the tea for the husband, did the cleaning, 
baking, washing, sewing and nursing. I noticed that when 
the husband came home, his day's work was over; he took 
his tea and then went to join his friends in the club or in 
the public house, or on the cricket or foot-ball field, and 
I used to ask myself why this was so. Why was the 
mother the drudge of the family, and not the father's com- 
panion and equal? 


From the first we found Annie ready with excel- 
lent ideas for spreading our propaganda. In Lanca- 
shire every little town and village has its " Wakes 
Week." The " Wakes " being a sort of Fair, at 
which there are " merry-go-rounds," " cocoanut 
shies," and numberless booths and stalls where hu- 
man and animal monstrosities are shown and all 
kinds of things are sold. In every separate town or 
village the ** Wakes " is held at a different date, so 
that within a radius of a few miles one or other of 
these fairs is going on all through the summer and 
autumn. Annie told us that on the Sunday before 
the " Wakes " almost all the inhabitants of the place 
go down to the *' Wakes-ground " and walk amongst 
the booths, and that Salvation Army and other 
preachers, temperance orators, the vendors of quack 
medicines and others seize this opportunity of ad- 
dressing the crowds. She suggested that we should 
follow their example. We readily agreed, and all 
through that summer and autumn we held these meet- 
ings, going from Stalybridge to Royton, Mosely, 
Oldham, Lees where Annie lived, and to a dozen 
other towns. 




Arrest and Imprisonment of Christabel Pankhurst 
AND Annie Kenney. October, 1905. 

Whilst the educational propaganda work of the 
Women's Social and Political Union was being 
quietly carried on, stirring events were in prepara- 
tion. The resignation of the Conservative Govern- 
ment was daily expected. The Liberal leaders were 
preparing themselves to take office, and every news- 
paper In the country was discussing who the new 
Ministers were to be. A stir of excitement was 
spreading all over the country and now the organ- 
isers of the Liberal Party decided to hold a great 
revival meeting In that historic Manchester Free 
Trade Hall, which stands upon the site pf the old 
franchise battle of Peterloo. The meeting was 
fixed for October 13, and here It was determined 
that the old fighting spirit of the Radicals should 
be revived, the principles and policy of Liberalism 
should be proclaimed anew and, upon the strength of 
those principles and of that policy, the people should 
be called upon to support the Incoming Government 
with voice and vote. 

When the evening of the thirteenth came, the 
great hall was filled to overflowing with an audience 



mainly composed of enthusiastic Liberals, for the 
meeting was almost entirely a ticket one, and the 
tickets had been circulated amongst the Liberal Asso- 
ciations throughout the length and breadth of Lanca- 
shire. The organ played victorious music, and then 
the Liberal men, whose party had been out of office 
for so long and who now saw it coming into power, 
rose to their feet and cheered excitedly as their lead- 
ers came into the hall. After a few brief words from 
the chairman, words in which he struck a note of 
triumphant confidence in the approaching Liberal 
victory. Sir Edward Grey was called upon to speak. 
The future Cabinet Minister, in a speech full of fine 
sentiments and glowing promises, named all the 
various great reforms that the Liberal Government 
would introduce, and appealed to the people to give 
the- Liberal Party its confidence, and to return a 
Liberal ministry to power. Whilst he was speaking. 
Sir Edward Grey was interrupted by a man who 
asked him what the Government proposed to do for 
the unemployed. Sir Edward paused with ready 
courtesy to listen. " Somebody said the unem- 
ployed," he explained to the audience; "well, I will 
come to that," and he did so, saying that this im- 
portant question would certainly be dealt with. Then 
he came to his peroration ; he spoke of the difficulties 
of administration, difficulties which were especially 
great at the present time. *' We ask for the Liberal 
Party," he said, ** the same chance as the Conserva- 
tive Party has had for nearly twenty years. . . . 
There Is no hope in the present men, but there is hope 
in new men. . . . It is to new men with fresh 
minds, untrammelled by prejudice and quickened by 
sympathy, and who are vigorous and true, that I 


believe that the country will turn with hope. What 
I ask for them is generous support and a fair 
chance." The thunder of applause that greeted his 
final words had scarcely died away when, as if in 
answer to Sir Edward Grey's appeal and promise, a 
little white cotton banner, inscribed with the words, 
"Votes for Women," was put up in the centre 
of the hall, and a woman was heard asking what 
the Government would do to make the women politi- 
cally free. Almost simultaneously two or three men 
were upon their feet demanding information upon 
other questions. The men were at once replied to, 
but the woman's question was ignored. She there- 
fore stood up again and pressed for an answer to 
her question, but the men sitting near her forced her 
down into her seat, and one of the stewards of the 
meeting held his hat over her face. Meanwhile, 
the hall was filled with a babel of conflicting sound. 
Shouts of " Sit down I " " Be quiet I " " What's the 
matter?" and "Let the lady speak 1" were heard 
on every hand. As the noise subsided a little, a sec- 
ond woman sitting beside the first got up and asked 
again, ** Will the Liberal Government give women 
the vote?" but Sir Edward Grey made no answer, 
and again arose the tumult of cries and counter cries. 
Then the Chief Constable of Manchester, Mr. 
William Peacock, came down from the platform to 
where the women were sitting, and asked them to 
write out the question that they had put to Sir 
Edward Grey, saying that he would himself take it 
to the Chairman and make sure that it received a 
reply. The women agreed to this suggestion, and 
the one who had first spoken now wrote: 


Will the Liberal Government give votes to working 
women ? 

Signed on behalf of the Women's Social and Political 


Member of the Oldham Committee of the 

Card and Blowing Room Operatives. 

To this she added that as one of the 96,000 organ- 
ised women cotton workers, and for their sake, she 
earnestly desired an answer. Mr. Peacock took the 
paper on which the question had been written back 
to the platform, and was seen to hand it to Sir 
Edward Grey, who, having read it, smiled and passed 
it to the Chairman, from whom it went the round of 
every speaker in turn. Then it was laid aside, and 
no answer was returned to it. A lady, sitting on the 
platform, who had noticed and understood all that 
was going on, now tried to intervene.^ " May I, 
as a woman, be allowed to speak — ?" she began, 
but the Chairman called on Lord Durham to move 
a vote of thanks to Sir Edward Grey. When this 
vote had been seconded by Mr. Winston Churchill, 
and when it had afterwards been carried. Sir Edward 
Grey rose to reply. But he made no reference, 
either to the enfranchisement of women, or to the 
question which had been put. Then followed the 
carrying of a vote of thanks to the Chair, and by 
this time the meeting showed signs of breaking up. 
Some of the audience had left the hall, and some of 
the people on the platform were preparing to go. 
The women's question still remained unanswered and 

^ She had no connection with the two women, and no previous 
knowledge that the question was to be put. 


seemed in danger of being forgotten by everyone con- 
cerned. But the two women were anxiously await- 
ing a reply, and the one who had first spoken now rose 
again, and this time she stood up upon her seat and 
called out as loudly as she could, ** Will the Liberal 
Government give working women the vote?" At 
once the audience became a seething, infuriated mob. 
Thousands of angry men were upon their feet shout- 
ing, gesticulating, and crying out upon the woman 
who had again dared to disturb their meeting. 

She stood there above them all, a little, slender, 
fragile figure. She had taken off her hat, and her 
soft, loosely flowing hair gave her a childish look; 
her cheeks were flushed and her blue eyes blazing 
with earnestness. It was Annie Kenney, the mill 
girl, who had gone to work in an Oldham cotton 
factory as a little half-timer at ten years of age. 
A working woman, the child of a working woman, 
whose life had been passed among the workers, she 
stood there now, feeling herself to be the represen- 
tative of thousands of struggling women, and in their 
name she asked for justice. But the Liberal leaders, 
who had spoken so glibly of sympathy for the poor 
and needy, were silent now, when one stood there 
asking for justice ; and their followers, who had list- 
ened so eagerly and applauded with so much en- 
thusiasm, speeches filled with the praise of liberty 
and equality, were thinking now of nothing but 
Liberal victories. They howled at her fiercely, and 
numbers of Liberal stewards came hurrying to drag 
her down. Then Christabel Pankhurst, her com- 
panion, started up and put one arm around Annie 
Kenney's waist, and with the other warded off their 
blows, and as she did so, they scratched and tore 


her hands until the blood ran down on Annie's hat 
that lay upon the seat, and stained it red, whilst 
she still called, " The question, the question, answer 
the question 1 " So, holding together, these two 
women fought for votes as their forefathers had 
done, upon the site of Peterloo. 

At last six men. Liberal stewards and policemen 
in plain clothes, seized Christabel Pankhurst and 
dragged her away down the central aisle and past 
the platform, then others followed bringing Annie 
Kenney after her. As they were forced along the 
women still looked up and called for an answer to 
their question, and still the Liberal leaders on the 
platform looked on apparently unmoved and never 
said a word. As they saw the women dragged away, 
the men in the front seats — the ticket holders from 
the Liberal clubs — shouted "Throw them outl" 
but from the free seats at the back, the people an- 
swered " Shame ! " 

Having been flung out into the street, the two 
women decided to hold an indignation meeting there, 
and so, dt the corner of Peter Street and South 
Street, close to the hall, they began to speak, but 
within a few minutes, they were arrested, and fol- 
lowed by hundreds of men and women, were dragged 
to the Town Hall. Here they were both charged 
with obstruction, and Christabel Pankhurst was also 
accused of assaulting the police. They were sum- 
moned to attend the Police Court in Minshull Street 
next morning. 

Meanwhile, as soon as the women had been 
thrown out of the hall, there came a revulsion of 
feeling in their favour and the greater part of the 
meeting broke up in disorder. Believing that some 


explanation was expected of him, Sir Edward Grey 
now said that he regretted the disturbance which had 
taken place. " I am not sure " he continued *' that 
unwittingly and in innocence I have not been a con- 
tributing cause. As far as I can understand, the 
trouble arose from a desire to know my opinion on 
the subject of Women's Suffrage. That is a ques- 
tion which I would not deal with here to-night be- 
cause it is not, and I do not think it is likely to 
be, a party question." He added that he had al- 
ready given his opinion upon votes for women and 
that, as he did not think it a " fitting subject for 
this evening," he would not repeat it. 

Thus, within a few days of the fortieth anniversary 
of the formation of the first Women's Suffrage So- 
ciety (perhaps even upon that very anniversary), 
and after forty years of persevering labour for this 
cause. Sir Edward Grey announced that Women's 
Suffrage was as yet far outside the realm of practical 
politics, and the two women who had dared to ques- 
tion him upon this subject were flung with violence 
and insult from the hall. 

The next morning the police court was crowded 
with people eager to hear the trial. The two girls 
refused to dispute the police evidence as to the 
charges of assault and obstruction, and based their 
defence solely upon the principle that their conduct 
was justified by the importance of the question upon 
which they had endeavoured to secure a pronounce- 
ment and by the outrageous treatment which they 
had received. But though ignoring the violence to 
which they had been subjected and exaggerating the 
disturbance which they had made, the Counsel for 
the prosecution had dwelt at length upon the scene 


in the Free Trade Hall ; the women were not allowed 
to refer to it and, though it was evident that but 
for what had taken place in the meeting they would 
not have been arrested for speaking in the street, 
they were ordered to confine their remarks to what 
had taken place after they had been ejected. Both 
defendants were found guilty, Christabel Pankhurst 
being ordered to pay a fine of ten shillings or to go 
to prison for seven days and Annie Kenney being 
fined five shillings with the alternative of three days' 
imprisonment. They both refused to pay the fines 
and were immediately hurried away to the cells. 

Now the whole country rang with the story. In 
Manchester especially, the news created tremendous 
excitement. The father of one of the prisoners, 
was, as we have seen, a Manchester man. Dr. 
Pankhurst's * remarkable ability and learning, his 
wonderful eloquence, his wide range of interests, and 
the number of causes in which he had taken a fore- 
most part, had secured for him an unusually large 
amount of public recognition. There was scarcely 
a man or woman in the city to whom he was not 
a familiar figure. Moreover, his fascinating person- 
ality, and his well-known tenderness of heart, illus- 
trated as it was by thousands of kindly acts, as well 
as by his long life of service and sacrifice for the 
public good, had endeared him to many of his strong- 
est political opponents. Whatever bitterness may 
have been aroused against him by his strenuous ad- 
vocacy of advanced and frequently unpopular causes, 
had disappeared when the news of his sudden death, 
which took place in the midst of a legal case that 
he was conducting on behalf of the Manchester Cor- 

1 See biographical note at the end of this chapter. 


poration, had become known, and public sympathy 
had gone generously forth to Mrs. Pankhurst in her 
tragic home-coming when she had read of her great 
loss in the evening papers in the train. Mrs. 
Pankhurst by her work on public bodies vas also 
known of course, and Christabel Pankhurst herself 
had recently attracted notice because, having wished 
to follow her father's profession, she had applied 
to the Benchers of Lincoln's Inn for admission to 
the Bar. Her application had been refused on the 
ground of her sex, as had also a request to be heard 
by the Benchers in support of her claim, but she 
had not abandoned her endeavours to secure the 
opening of this avenue of employment to women and 
she was now a Law student at the Victoria Univer- 
sity of Manchester. 

Votes for Women in those days was regarded by 
the majority of sober, level-headed men as a ladies' 
fad which would never come to anything and the 
idea that it could ever be a question upon which 
governments would stand or fall, or be associated 
with persecution, rioting and imprisonment had been 
alike unthinkable to them. Therefore, for many 
reasons, this trial and imprisonment came as a tre- 
mendous shock to the general public of Manchester. 
Questions addressed to political speakers by men in 
the audience both during and at the close of the 
speeches were, as everyone knew, the invariable ac- 
companiment of every public political meeting in this 
country. These questions were almost always re- 
plied to. When dissatisfied with the answer the 
interrogators frequently began a running commen- 
tary of disapproval, which sometimes terminated in 
their ejection, but not until they had become a source 


of general disturbance to the meeting. These facts 
were of course a matter of common knowledge, but 
the newspapers now ignored them and treated the 
questioning of Sir Edward Grey in the manner 
adopted by the two women in the Free Trade Hall 
as an absolutely new and entirely reprehensible de- 
parture. They were all agreed that such behaviour 
would inevitably injure the Women's Suffrage Cause 
of which, though they had hitherto boycotted it, 
most of them now implied that they were supporters. 
Extracts from two newspapers are enough to con- 
vey the attitude which in varying degrees of severity 
was adopted by them all. The Evening Standard: 

The Magistrates were lenient in inflicting a small fine. 
. . . If Miss Pankhurst desires to go to gaol rather 
than pay the money, let her go. Our only regret is that 
the discipline will be identical with that experienced by 
mature and sensible women, and not that which falls to 
the lot of children in the nursery. 

The Birmingham Daily Mail: — 

If any argument were required against giving to ladies 
political status and power, it has been furnished > in Man- 
chester, and by two of the people who are most strenuously 
clamouring for the franchise. 

The reason why the Press as a whole was against 
the women was of course because every great news- 
paper in this country is a special pleader, for one or 
other of the two great political Parties — the Liberals 
and the Conservatives — and both these Parties 
looked upon the question which the w6men were 
striving to urge forward, as something of a nuisance. 
Unfortunately, vast numbers of people, instead of 


examining into and thinking out a thing for them- 
selves, begin, at any rate, by allowing their opinions 
to be formed for them by the particular newspapers 
which they happen to read. Therefore some people 
at once made up their minds that the women were 
entirely in the wrong, because the papers said so. 
Others, with strange obliquity of vision, because 
they did not like the idea of women mixing them- 
selves up in scenes of violence, found it easier to dis- 
approve of the women who had been lU-used than of 
those who had ill-used them. Besides the unthinking 
ones, there were also many who had become so much 
inflamed by Party spirit that their sole idea was to 
whitewash and bolster up the Liberal leaders and 
to cast a slur upon the character of any who had 
dared to turn too fierce a light upon their faults 
and weaknesses. 

But with all this the imprisoned women were not 
friendless and though for the time being, stone walls 
and iron bars might prevent their speaking, there 
were those outside who were determined to defend 
and uphold them and to turn what they had done 
to good. The Women's Social and Political Union 
at once published a statement explaining that 
in view of the approaching general election the 
intentions of the Liberal leaders with regard to 
Women's Suffrage had been recognised to be of 
immense importance, and Sir Edward Grey had 
therefore been asked to receive a deputation of 
members of the Union, in which the questions it 
was desired that he should answer were clearly 
stated. No reply or acknowledgment of this re- 
quest had been received, and It had thereupon been 
decided that two delegates from the Union should 

Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney 


attend the Free Trade Hall meeting to question 
Sir Edward Grey. 

Many who witnessed the scene in the Free Trade 
Hall wrote to the newspapers expressing their sym- 
pathy with the women. 

A " sympathiser " apologised for having helped to 
shout the women down saying that he would never 
have done so had he realised what was really taking 
place. On first reading the accounts, Mr. Keir 
Hardie, the only Member of Parliament to come for- 
ward in support of the prisoners, telegraphed, " The 
thing is a dastardly outrage, but do not worry, it will 
do immense good to the Cause. Can I do anything ? " 
Sir Edward Grey's wife, Lady Grey, made no public 
statement but she told her friends that she considered 
the women justified in the means they had adopted 
of forcing their question forward. " What else 
could they do?" she asked. Whilst Mr. Winston 
Churchill, fearing probably that his approaching 
candidature in Manchester might be damaged by the 
imprisonment of the women, visited Strangeways 
Gaol and offered to pay their fines, but the Govern- 
or refused to accept the money from him. 

On Friday, October 20, a crowded demonstration 
was held to welcome the Ex-prisoners in the Free 
Trade Hall from which they had been flung out 
with ignominy but a week before, and now, as they 
entered, the audience rose with raised hats and wav- 
ing handkerchiefs and greeted them with cheers. 
Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney did not 
speak of their imprisonment. We knew that they 
had been treated as belonging to the third and lowest 
class of criminals, and that they had been dressed 
in the prison clothes, fed on " skilly " and brown 


bread, and kept in solitary confinement in a narrow 
cell both day and night ; that they had attended serv- 
ices with the other prisoners in die Chapel and with 
them had gone out to exercise in the prison yard, 
that they had performed the daily routine of prison 
tasks and, losing their own. names, had answered 
only to the number of their cell. These things we 
know, but they refused to speak of them then, wish- 
ing that all attention should be concentrated upon 
the cause of the enfranchisement of women for which 
they had been willing to endure all. 

But in spite of their own silence we have one pic- 
ture of Christabel during that first imprisonment. It 
was brought out to us by one of the Visiting Justices, 
a friend of her father, who, in the hope of inducing 
her to allow her fine to be paid, had gone in to see her 
in the prison cell. He found her clad in strangely 
made, coarse serge garments, with large heavy shoes 
upon her feet and with a white cap framing her 
rosy face, and partly covering her soft brown hair. 
Seated on a wooden stool she was working away at 
her allotted task — the making of a shirt for one 
of the men prisoners. Her dinner, consisting of 
two or three small sodden-looking unpeeled potatoes 
and a chunk of coarse brown bread, was lying be- 
side her and she was taking a bite of the bread every 
now and then. " Don't you think you're a very 
silly girl to sit here eating brown bread and potatoes 
and sewing that shirt when you might be freely do- 
ing what you please outside ? " the Justice asked her. 
But she smiled up at him brightly '* Oh, no," she 
said, " I always liked brown bread." 

Fresh and bright and full of cheer as she had 
been in her cell, though more serious, she was now. 


as she stood on the Free Trade Hall platform to 
make her speech. When she began to tell the meet- 
ing of the disturbance that had taken place upon the 
previous Friday there were some cries of protest 
from Liberals who disagreed with her, but she 
stopped them saying " I am sure you want to hear 
my side of the story," and when she had finished, 
Resolutions calling for the immediate extension of 
th^ franchise to women, commending the bravery of 
the released prisoners' action and condemning the 
behaviour of those who had refused to answer their 
question were carried with tremendous enthusiasm. 


In addition to his activities for Women's Suffrage, and 
indeed, for all questions affecting the welfare of women, 
which have been already referred to, Dr. Pankhurst had 
taken an important part in many other reform movements. 
He had been one of the most distinguished of the students 
of Owen's College which paved the way for, and became 
incorporated with, the newer Victoria University of Man- 
chester. Having studied at Owen's, he had taken his B.A. 
degree at the London University in 1858, his LL.B., with 
honours in Principles of Legislation in 1859, ^md LL.D. 
with the gold medal in 1863. Called to the Bar in Lin- 
coln's Inn in 1867 he had joined the Northern Circuit and 
become a member of the Bar of the County Palatine and 
Lancaster Chancery Court. He had been Honorary Secre- 
tary to the Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutes 
from 1863 to 1876 in which years he had laboured zealously 
in the promotion of education, devoting much time to visit- 
ing the various Mechanics Institutes, which largely owing 
to his work were beginning to spring up as the forerunners 
of the Technical Schools and Municipal Evening Classes of 
to-day, teaching and addressing the students on educational 


questions, and enlisting public sympathy in this important 
work. Later, when in 1893, the subject of citizenship had, 
owing primarily to his influence, been made a part of the 
teaching of the evening continuation schools in Manchester, 
Dr. Pankhurst had issued a scheme of political studies in 
the form of an outline of political and social theory, and 
in 1894 he had delivered a series of addresses on the *' Life 
and Duties of Citizenship," which were afterwards published. 
In 1882 he had become a member of the Manchester Cham- 
ber of Commerce and was recognised to be an authority 
upon many commercial questions. He was one of the 
earliest and most active workers of the Social Science 
Association which did so much to educate public opin- 
ion upon many questions affecting the welfare of women 
and the community in general. Dr. Pankhurst had also 
been the author of many important papers oh the Patent 
Laws, Local Courts and Tribunals, International Law, 
the study of Jurisprudence, and other subjects. He had 
interested himself greatly in public health and the gen- 
eral field of sanitation, and had been concerned in many 
public inquiries in regard to this matter. He had been a 
life member of the Association for the Reform and Codifica- 
tion of the Law of Nations, and had laid before that body 
a scheme of international arbitration as a substitute for war, 
a principle for which he had for many years strenuously 
contended. He had three times been a candidate for Par- 
liament, having contested Manchester in 1883, Rotherhithe 
in 1885, aJ^d Gorton in 1895, but because, admittedly, he 
was too fearlessly honest and outspoken he had on each occa- 
sion failed to secure election. Even by his bitterest political 
opponents he was respected, for it was a matter of common 
knowledge that, for the sake of his principles, he had over 
and over again sacrificed his own material advancement. 
He had begun life as an advanced Radical, having been a 
friend of John Stuart Mill, also of Ernest Jones, and other 
well-known Chartists. So long ago as 1873 he had been 
a pronounced Home Ruler. He had been a member of 


the executive of the National Reform Union, and the dec- 
laration of principles which he had issued in his candidature 
of 1 883 has been ascribed as " a third Charter in itself." 
By his fearless championship of their interests, and his sym- 
pathy for them in time of trouble, he had especially en- 
deared himself to the working people. So early as the days 
of George Odger and other leaders of the Labour cause, 
he had taken part in a movement which resulted in the re- 
casting of the labour laws. He had acted as arbitrator for 
the men in many cases of trade dispute. Whilst taking an 
active part in the effort to secure both the later extensions 
of the franchise which took place in 1867 and 1884, D^*- 
Pankhurst had, as we have seen, done all he could to get 
women included under them. 


After the inauguration of the militant tactics on 
October 13th, we determined not to let the matter 
rest until we had obtained a definite pledge that the 
incoming Liberal Government would give votes to 
women. On December 4th came the long-expected 
resignation of Mr. Balfour, and the King then called 
upon Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the Liberal 
leader, to form an Administration. It was now an- 
nounced that a great demonstration should be held 
on December 21st in the Royal Albert Hall, at which, 
surrounded by every member of his Cabinet, Sir 
Henry should make his first public utterance as Prime 

The importance of raising our question at this 
meeting was of course apparent, and we at once 
endeavoured to procure tickets of admission. But, 
even so early in the fight as this, the Liberals did 
not scruple to refuse tickets to women who might 
be going to ask awkward questions. On one occa- 
sion just as two tickets were about to be delivered 
over to me, I was accused of having questioned 
Mr. Asqulth at a meeting in the Queen's Hall, and, 
though I had really not been present at that meet- 
ing, I was obliged to go away empty-handed. I had 
been mistaken for Annie Kenney who had come to 
London to attend both the Queen's Hall and the 



Albert Hall meetings. We both of us thought the 
incident most absurd, for we do not in any way 
resemble each other. But it put us on our guard, 
and when on the very morning of the Albert Hall 
meeting, a friend sent me three tickets, we made up 
our minds that they should not be rendered useless 
by those ,who presented them being turned away at 
the doors. I had been twice interviewed in two 
different sets of clothes by the Liberal officials who 
had eventually refused me the tickets and Annie her- 
self had been paraded before a row of stewards; it 
was therefore clear that if either of us went to the 
meeting we must go disguised. We decided at last 
that the three tickets should be used by Theresa 
Billington, who had recently joined the Union and 
was coming from Manchester for the meeting, by 
Annie herself, and by a working woman from the 
East End, a recent convert. Nevertheless, we in- 
tended first to give the Prime Minister a chance to 
answer fairly, so that no disturbance need be made. 
Shortly before the meeting, therefore, Annie Kenney 
dispatched by express messenger a letter to Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman on behalf of our Union, ask- 
ing him whether the new Government would give 
Women the vote, and stating that she should be 
in the hall that night in the hope that this important 
question would be answered without delay. If this 
were not done, she added that she should feel 
bound to rise in her place and make a protest. 

The next thing to do was to disguise Annie. We 
understood that most of the ladies would wear 
evening gowns, but it was essential to show as little 
of her face, neck, and hair as possible, so, after 
dressing her up in a light cream-coloured frock, 


we added a fur coat and a thick dark veil. She 
told us afterwards that she felt very hot in these 
clothes which she was afraid to remove, but, with 
the little East End convert walking closely behind 
her as her maid, she was allowed by the scrutineers 
to pass into a private box which we afterwards found 
had been specially set apart for the use of Mr. John 
Burns' family and friends. 

The immense brilliantly lighted hall was filled 
from floor to ceiling. The platform was gaily 
decorated with flowers. As the Prime Minister 
began to speak Annie Kenney sat anxiously awaiting 
his answer, and at last, as he did not give it, she 
rose suddenly up and hanging over the edge of the 
box a little white calico banner with the words 
** Votes for Women " painted upon it in black 
letters, she called out in a loud clear voice, " Will 
the Liberal Government give women the vote?" 
Immediately afterwards came an answering cry from 
the opposite end of the hall, and Theresa Billington 
let down from the orchestra above the platform a 
great banner, nine feet in length inscribed in black 
with the words " Will the Liberal Government give 
justice to working-women?" For a moment there 
was a hush, whilst the people waited for the Prime 
Minister's answer, but he and his Cabinet remained 
silent. Then the whole vast audience broke into 
a tumultuous, conflicting uproar, in the ntidst of 
which the Chairman vainly called for order. The 
organ played to drown the women's questions, and 
the women were flung out of the hall. 

The next day we returned to Manchester for 
Christmas to find that Christabel was already plan- 
ning a General Election campaign, and all through 


the holidays, whilst Cabinet Ministers were resting 
from their labours, we were busy making white 
calico banners, and inscribing them in black letters 
with the fateful words, " Votes for Women " and 
" Will the Liberal Government give women the 
vote? " We had no longer a doubt either that the 
new Liberal Government was hostile to our cause 
or that it was our duty to fight them until they were 
ready to capitulate or to retire from office. Had it 
been possible we should have opposed the election 
of every candidate running under their auspices, but 
as we had neither the funds nor the membership for 
so extensive a work, we decided to carry out a defi- 
nite Election campaign against one member of 
the Government, — Mr. Winston Churchill. Mr. 
Churchill was selected not for any personal feeling 
against him, but because he was the most important 
of the Liberal candidates who were standing for 
constituencies within easy reach of our home. 

On the opening night of the campaign Mr. 
Churchill had arranged to hold several meetings in 
halls in different parts of his constituency and, as the 
intentions of the Women's Social and Political Union 
were now well-known, considerable excitement and 
expectancy prevailed. The first meeting was held 
in a school at Cheetham Hill. There were a num- 
ber of doors to the meeting room, one opening In 
the middle of a side wall and communicating with 
a passage leading from the main entrance to the 
building; another, a big emergency exit at the back 
of the room farthest from the platform, and several 
others on each side of the platform opening Into 
class-rooms and ante-rooms. The first of these 
doors was the one by which the audience came In. 


No tickets were needed and the solitary Suf- 
fragette who presented herself was able to walk 
quietly in unnoticed and to take a seat in the middle 
of the room. If her heart beat so loud that it 
seemed that all must hear it, If she felt sick and 
faint with suspense, no one knew. 

The whole audience was eagerly looking for '* The 
lady Suffragists." A party of women in a little 
gallery above the door, attracted considerable atten- 
tion. " Those are the Suffragists, look up there," 
was whispered from all quarters. A man who sat 
next to the unrecognised Suffragette fixed his gaze 
upon these ladies, and turning to his companion 
said: '' That is Miss Pankhurst; she has aged very 
much since I saw her last. The ladies have got their 
eyes on us; they will begin putting their question 
soon." The hall filled up rapidly and at last became 
so densely crowded that, owing to the press of 
people, the emergency doors at the back of the hall 
were burst open and a large crowd collected outside. 
Mr. Churchill was late, and during the Chairman's 
remarks and the speeches that followed little atten- 
tion was paid to what was being said for everyone 
was waiting for what was to happen next. 

At last Mr. Winston Churchill came In. He 
spoke of the unsatisfactory behaviour of the late 
Government. The will of the people, he declared, 
had been Ignored, " But now," he said, " you have 
got your chancel " " Yes, we have got our chance, 
and we mean to use it. Will the Liberal Govern- 
ment give women the vote?" The reply came 
prompt and sharp as a pistol shot. It was a 
woman's voice, and there was a woman standing up 
with a little white banner In her hand. There was 


a moment's breathless waiting for Mr. Churchill's 
answer which did not come, and then the usual 
uproar burst forth. The man who " knew " Miss 
Pankhurst was the first to snatch the banner from 
the Suffragette, but it was evident that sitting around 
her were many unknown friends. 

For some time it was impossible to proceed with the 
meeting. Whilst the noise was at its height the 
interrupter sat down and waited; then, as soon as 
quiet was restored and Mr. Churchill attempted to 
continue his speech without replying, she again got 
up and pressed for an answer to her question. The 
Chairman endeavoured to induce Mr. Churchill to 
give an answer, but without success. The stewards 
threatened to throw the woman out but were afraid 
to do so because many of the men showed that they 
were prepared to fight for her, and in any case, the 
meeting was so crowded that it would have been 
difficult to get her through the press of people. The 
woman asking for votes seemed likely to have the 
best of it for once. Someone suggested that if 
Mr. Churchill would only answer, or if the men in 
the audience would not get so very much excited, 
things might go better, but the advice was unheeded. 

At last the Chairman announced that, if the lady 
would promise to be quiet afterwards, she should 
speak from the platform for five minutes. To this 
she was not disposed to agree, but went up to the 
foot of the platform to explain that all she wanted 
was an answer to her question. Speaking directly 
to Mr. Churchill she said, " Don't you understand 
what it is I want?" But hiding his face with a 
quick impatient movement of his arm he answered 
crossly, ** Get away, I won't have anything to do with 


you." Then the Chairman appealed to her: "You 
had better come up to the platform," he said, '* we 
can hear you then; as it is, half the people in the 
meeting do not know what all the fuss is about." 
She consented, and for th ; next five minutes tried to 
make her explanation, but the enthusiastic Liberals 
of the three front rows set up the wildest tumult 
of shouts and yells in order to drown her words. 

When the five minutes were over the woman 
turned to go, but Mr. Churchill seized her roughly 
by the arm and forced her to sit down in a chair 
at the back of the platform saying, " No, you must 
wait here, till you have heard what I have to say," 
then turning to the audience he began complaining of 
the way in which the women were treating him and 
concluded, " nothing would induce me to vote for 
giving women the franchise," and, " I am not going 
to be henpecked into a question of such grave im- 
portance." As he finished this declaration of hos- 
tility the men on the platform rose, as if by pre- 
arranged agreement, and the woman questioner stood 
up also, wishing to leave. Instantly two men hur- 
ried her to the side of the platform where, screened 
from the audience by a group of others, they swung 
her roughly over the edge and dragged her into an 

Thinking that she was merely to be put outside 
she had made no resistance, but now one of the 
men went to find the key to lock her in whilst the 
other remained in the room, standing with his 
back to the door. As soon as they were alone he 
began to use the most violent language and, call- 
ing her a cat, gesticulated as though he would scratch 
her face with his hands. Knowing that the room 

"•Kk J 


was on the ground floor, she ran to the window, and 
threw It open, only to find that it was barred. She 
called to some people who were passing in the side 
street saying : " I \^ant you to be witnesses of any- 
thing that takes place in th,s room," and they came 
running up and shouted to the man to behave himself. 
He at once became quieter, and presently on a key 
being brought to him, he locked the door and went 
away. Now, some of those in the street discovered 
that one of the windows had no bars, and they called 
to the prisoner to go and open it in order that they 
might help her to escape. This was easily done and 
an indignation meeting was immediately held on a 
piece of waste ground near by. Meanwhile Mr. 
Churchill was going on to his other meetings, but 
he found a woman readily to question him at every 

Next day there were long columns in the Man- 
chester papers dealing with these incidents whilst 
Mr. Churchill's angry assertion that he would not 
be " henpecked " drew forth innumerable jokes from 
the humorous writers. A verse from one of these, 
entitled " The Heckler, and the Hen-pecker, with 
apologies to Lewis Carroll " ran as follows : -^ 

" * The price of bread ' the Heckler said, ' is what we have 

to note. 
Answer at once, who caused the war, and who made Joseph's 

coat ? ' 
But here the Hen-pecker, shrieked out, * Will women have 

the vote ? * 
* I weep for you ' the Heckler said, * I deeply sympathise, 
We have asked a hundred questions and yet had no replies.' 
But here the Hen-pecker spread out a flag of largest size." 


Day by day the warfare with Mr. Churchill con- 
tinued, a large proportion of the inhabitants of the 
district gradually becoming more and more com- 
pletely converted to the women's point of view. In 
some cases after violent scenes of disorder, the 
entire audience got up and left the meeting to show 
their sympathy with them. 

In our Manchester election campaign we did not 
confine ourselves, however, merely to questioning and 
Heckling Mr. Churchill. We also held numberless 
meetings of our own and distributed thousands of 

One day my brother Harry, who was then fifteen 
years of age, suggested to us a scheme which, 
though it involved some risk of prosecution, we 
found irresistible. Accordingly, in the small hours 
of the last two mornings before polling, he 
and two of his school fellows set off with brush and 
paste can and some long narrow slips called " fly^ 
posters," with ** Votes for Women " printed in 
black letters upon them. Whilst the other two boys 
kept a lookout for passing policemen, Harry 
pasted these slips cornerwise across Mr. Churchill's 
great red and white posters which appeared on 
every hoarding in the constituency, just as the 
ordinary advertiser does when he wishes to bring 
out special points of attraction to heighten the pub- 
lic interest. 

Though Mr. Churchill won the Election, his ma- 
jority was smaller than that of any of the other Man- 
chester Liberal candidates. 

One of the most active workers in the new mili- 
tant campaign was Mrs. Flora Drummond, a cheery, 
rosy-faced little woman, a native of the Island of 


Arran, As a girl Flora Gibson had been daring 
and high-spirited, a good swimmer, a splendid 
walker, and the leader in all kinds of out-door sports 
and games. On leaving school she successfully 
passed all examinations for the position of post mis- 
tress, but immediately afterwards the Post Master 
General raised the height standard for all post 
masters and mistresses to five feet, two inches, the 
same standard being exacted both for men and 
women although the average height of men is of 
course greater than that of women. Flora Gibson 
was only five feet one inch in height, and as it had 
been only at considerable sacrifice that her widowed 
mother had been able to pay for her education, 
poor Flora was in despair; but her father's rela- 
tions agreed to pay the necessary fees for her to 
learn shorthand and typewriting. She soon became 
exceedingly skilled and took a Society of Arts cer- 
tificate. Shortly after this she married Mr. Drum- 
mond, a journeyman upholsterer, and removed to 
Manchester, his native place. Soon after her mar- 
riage she was obliged to resume her typewriting be- 
cause bad trade threw Mr. Drummond out of regu- 
lar employment. Eventually she became manager, 
of the Oliver Typewriter Company's office in Man- 
chester. She had joined the W. S. P. U. on hear- 
ing of the imprisonment of Annie Kenney and 
Christabel Pankhurst. 

Mrs. Drummond was invaluable for the work of 
questioning Cabinet Ministers which was carried on 
continuously in spite of our Manchester election cam- 
paign. When, early in January, 1906, we heard 
that the Prime Minister was to speak at the Sun 
Hall, Liverpool, she and several other members of 


the Union agreed to go over and question him. Mr. 
Balfour, who was then fighting a losing battle in the 
effort to retain his old seat in East Manchester, had 
agreed to receive a deputation from our Union, 
Nothing very important came of the interview, 
though Mr. Balfour's reply was kindly and sympa- 
thetic, but long before Mr. Balfour's hotel had been 
reached the deputation had discovered that they were 
being shadowed by detectives. As it had been ar- 
ranged that some of the women should go straight 
on to Liverpool, they made every attempt to shake 
off their pursuers. Proceeding first in one direction 
and then in another, they were tracked all over 
Manchester and Liverpool until finally Christ abel 
said good-bye to her companions and returned to 
Manchester. Then, instead of breaking up into 
two parties the detectives all followed her, whilst 
the other women, in company with a number of 
Liverpool members of our Union, quietly made their 
way to the Sun Hall, where nine of them subse- 
quently questioned the Prime Minister and were all 
thrown out of the hall without receiving a reply. 
After the first woman had been rejected Sir Camp- 
bell-Bannerman said : " If I might have done so, I 
could have calmed that lady's nerves by telling her 
that I am in favour of Women's Suffrage," but this, 
of course, was no answer to the question as to 
whether the Government was prepared to enfran- 
chise the women of the country. 

On January 15th Mrs. Drummond and a number 
of her friends in Glasgow attended a meeting of 
the Prime Minister's in the St. Andrew's Hall 
there. Heckling is a regular institution in Scot- 
land, and the Glasgow women declared that they 


would certainly receive courteous replies. On ask- 
ing the usual question Mrs. Drummond was at once 
flung out by the stewards and immediately after- 
wards one of her companions who had hitherto been 
a staunch Liberal approached her with hat awry 
and dishevelled clothing saying in bewilderment, 
" Oh my, they pet me ooti " - 

During these weeks questions were also put at 
several other meetings including that of Mr. Asquith 
in the Sheffield Drill Hall. Everywhere the women 
were ejected. On January 25th one of the last big 
Liberal meetings of the General Election was held 
at Altrincham in Cheshire, Mr. Lloyd George being 
the principal speaker. The members of the W. S. 
P. U. who were present did not interrupt him during 
his speech but waited until he had finished before 
asking him the usual question. Mr. Lloyd George 
then said : " I was going to congratulate myself that 
I had escaped this; however, at the last meeting of 
the campaign the spectre has appeared." That was 
all, and the women were quickly hauled out to pre- 
vent their again raising their voices. 

So the General Election ended, and we were still 
left without that pledge from the Liberal leaders 
which we had set ourselves to gain. Those of us 
who went through the campaign will be ever at a 
loss to understand the motives which led the Liberal 
leaders to treat our first orderly and considerate 
questioning and even the later, more persistent 
heckling, as they did. They obviously had neither 
the wish nor the intention of giving votes to women 
during their term of office, and it was probably the 
fear of offending the ladies who canvassed for 
them that prevented their plainly saying so. Yet 


after all, they were accustomed to parrying the ques- 
tioning of men and it was surely unwise, even from 
their own standpoint, to deal so violently with 

All that had been done by the new militant suf- 
fragists up to now had been merely the brilliant 
skirmishing of an intrepid and resourceful little band 
of enthusiasts driven to employ somewhat uncon- 
ventional methods, both by the old established cus- 
tom of boycotting their cause and by the ruthless 
brutality of the forces that were arrayed against 
them. Our opponents called us " a stage army " 
and '* a family party," and the designations were not 
inapt, but the little stage army was always cleverly 
marshalled, and its soldiers were as cheerfully and 
affectionately loyal to the mother of the movement 
and to the young general who had initiated the 
new tactics as though in reality they had all been 
members of a single family. 

During the General Election various attempts to 
press forward the question of Women's Suffrage had 
also been made by the non-militant Suffragists. 
Miss Llewellyn Davies and others had organised a 
joint Manifesto on this question from a large num- 
ber of societies. These included, amongst others, 
the Women's Co-operative Guild with 20,700 mem- 
bers, the Women's Liberal Federation with 76,000 
members and the Scottish Women's Liberal Federa- 
tion with 15,000 members. The North of England 
Weavers' Association, with 100,000. The British 
Women's Temperance Association with 109,890 
members, the Independent Labour Party with 20,000 
members, and the Lancashire and Cheshire Textile 
and others Workers' Representation Committee, 


whose Secretaries were Miss Eva Core-Booth and 
Mrs. Sarah Dickinson. The Women Textile Work- 
ers' Committee had also run Mr. Thorley Smith 
as a Women's Suffrage candidate for Wigan. 
Though Mr. Smith had not been elected, a good fight 
had been made and a very creditable vote secured; 
the figures had been : — 

Powel (Conservative) 3,573 

Smith (Women's Suff.) 2,205 

Woods (Liberal) 1,900 


Annie Kenney Sets off to Rouse London — The 
Scene in the Ladies Gallery and the Deputation 
TO Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. 

As soon as the General Election was over, we 
began to make preparations for the opening of Par- 
liament. It was decided that the work of our Union 
must be carried to London, and that we must have 
an Organiser there who would be able to devote 
the whole of her time to it. Annie Kenney, who, 
after her imprisonment, had never gone back to the 
Mill, was chosen for this post. The Election cam- 
paign had put a severe strain upon the resources of 
the Union, and from the first the raising of funds 
had been our greatest difficulty. Therefore, it was 
with only £2 in her pocket and the uncertainty as to 
whether more would be forthcoming that Annie 
Kenney set off ** to rouse London." Perhaps no one 
realised what a heavy task, and how many bitter 
rebuffs were before this sensitive, fragile girl. I 
took a room for her in the house where I was stay- 
ing at 45, Park Walk, Chelsea, in order that we 
might consult, and as far as possible, work together. 

The Committee in Manchester had not formulated 
any definite plans of campaign, but we came to the 


JANUARY TO MAY, 1906 55 

conclusion that we must organise a procession of 
women and a demonstration in Trafalgar Square 
for the day of the opening of Parliament. When 
Annie went to Scotland Yard to inform the police 
of our intentions, however, she was told that no 
meeting in Trafalgar Square could be allowed whilst 
Parliament was sitting. This forced us to the con- 
clusion that we must hire a Hall somewhere near 
Westminster for our meeting place, but we knew not 
where to find the money to pay for it. This and 
other difficulties, however, were one by one smoothed 
away. Mr. Keir Hardie and Mr. Frank Smith 
(afterwards elected to the London County Council as 
member for Lambeth) were the first to help us, 
and they advised us to take the Caxton Hall, West- 
minster, and put us in touch with a sympathiser who 
agreed to pay the rent of it. 

As soon as we had taken the Hall, we drafted a 
little handbill to announce the Meeting, and then, 
armed with her bills and her wonderful faith in the 
goodness of her fellow men and women, Annie 
Kenney proceeded with her mission, calling day by day 
upon people of whom she knew practically nothing, 
and to whom she herself was entirely unknown. 
One of those who kindly helped us was Mr. W. T. 
Stead, who published in the Review of Reviews a 
character sketch of Annie Kenney, in which he 
likened her to Josephine Butler. It was soon plain 
to us that it would be easier to ask for help if we 
formed a London Branch of the W. S. P. U., and 
with my aunt, Mrs. Clarke, and Mrs. Lucy Roe, 
our landlady, we therefore formed a Preliminary 


In about a fortnight's time my mother joined us. 
She was surprised to learn that so many arrange- 
ments had been made and at first was almost in- 
clined to be appalled at the boldness of our plans. 
She was afraid that we should never induce more 
than a handful of women to walk in procession 
through the public streets, and that the Caxton Hall 
could not be filled. But the die was cast, and she 
threw herself into the work determined to do her 
very best to prevent failure. 

A few days after this we heard that Mrs. Drum- 
mond was coming from Manchester to help us. 
Her husband was earning little at the time, and the 
Union had no money to provide her railway fare, 
but she had walked miles through the snow in order 
to collect the necessary funds from her friends. 
When she arrived, we were all of us growing very 
weary and overwrought. It seemed almost im- 
possible to stir this great city, filled with its busy 
millions who appeared to have no time to think of 
anything but their own affairs. The thoughtless 
apathy of those whom we met with money and 
leisure at their disposal, the dull, hopeless inertia of 
those who agreed that we were right, but would not 
stir themselves to help, were to us in our anxiety, 
almost maddening. But Mrs. Drummond, with her 
practical ways and her inexhaustible fund of good 
humour, brought with her a spirit of renewed hope 
and energy. Her first act was to go to the office 
of the Oliver Company and borrow a typewriter 
from them. The secretarial duties were thus enor- 
mously lightened, and after rattling off the corre- 
spondence she was always ready to join us in deliv- 
ering handbills, canvassing from house to house, or 

JANUARY TO MAY, igo6 57 

writing announcements of the forthcoming meetings 
with white chalk upon the city pavement. 

At last the day of the opening of Parliament, 
February 19th, 1906, arrived, and a crowd of ^ome 
three or four hundred women, a large proportion of 
whom were poor workers from the East End, met 
us at St. James' Park District Railway Station. We 
formed in procession and put up a few simple ban- 
ners, some of which were red with white letters, and 
had been made by working people in Canning 
Town, whilst the rest I had made of white linen 
and lettered with India ink in the little sitting-room 
at Park Walk. Our procession had gone but a few 
yards when the police came up and insisted upon 
the furling of the banners, but they did not prevent 
our marching to the Caxton Hall near by. Here 
we found that a large audience had already assem- 
bled, and soon the hall was crowded with women, 
most of whom were strangers to us. We were told 
afterwards that amongst the rest were many ladies 
of wealth and position, who, inspired with curiosity 
by the newspaper accounts of the disturbances which 
we were said to have created, had disguised them- 
selves in their maids' clothes in order that they 
might attend the meeting unrecognised. 

Mrs. Pankhurst, Annie Kenney and others who 
spoke, were listened to with much earnestness and 
presently the news came that the King's speech, the 
Government's legislative programme for the session, 
had been read, and that it had contained no refer- 
ence to the question of Women's Suffrage. My 
mother at once moved that the meeting should form 
itself into a " Lobbying " Committee and should at 
once proceed to the House of Commons in order 


to induce its members to ballot for a Women's Suf- 
frage Bill. This resolution was carried with accla- 
mation, and the whole meeting streamed out into 
the street and made its way to the House. It was 
bitterly cold and pouring with rain, but when we 
arrived at the Strangers' Entrance, we found that 
for the first time that anyone could remember, the 
door of the House of Commons was closed to 
women. Cards were sent in to several Private 
Members, some of whom came out and urged that 
we should be allowed to enter, but the Government 
had given its orders, and the police remained ob- 
durate. All the women refused to go away, and 
permission was finally given for twenty women at 
a time to be admitted. Then hour after hour the 
women stood outside in the rain waiting for their 
turn to enter. Some of them never got into the 
House at all, and those who did so went away 
gloomy and disappointed for there was not one of 
them who had received any assurance that Parlia- 
ment intended to give women the vote. 

Now, after a chance meeting with Mrs. Pankhurst 
and a second long talk with her and with Annie 
Kenney, a new recruit had entered our movement. 
This was Mrs. Pethick Lawrence, the daughter of 
Mr. Henry Pethick, of Wesern Super-Mare, and a 
member of a Cornish family. As a child at school 
she had read the story of Hetty Sorrell in George 
Eliot's "Adam Bede," had seen "Faust," and 
Marguerite in her prison cell. Later she had learnt 
from Sir Walter Besant's Children of Gideon of 
the cheerless struggle to eke out an existence upon 
starvation wages, which falls to the lot of working- 
girls. Then and there she had resolved to spend 


her life in striving to alter these conditions. She 
determined that as soon as she left school she would 
go to ** the East End," and begin. When the time 
came she at once acted upon this decision. With- 
out seeking help or advice from anyone, she wrote 
to Mrs. Hugh Price Hughes, of the West London 
Mission and asked that she might be received into 
her sisterhood. When her request had been granted 
she told her parents of what she had done, and they 
readily gave their full approval and sympathy. 

After four years of useful training and varied 
experiences in the West London Mission, during 
which she had had at some times the charge of a 
Working-Girls' Club and at others had been sent 
out at night on to the London Streets in order to 
save and succour the homeless and outcast women 
there, she and her friend, Miss Mary Neal, took 
rooms in a block of artisans' dwellings and gathered 
round them a small colony of social workers. To- 
gether they founded the Esperance Working-Girls' 
Club, to which was attached a co-operative dress- 
making establishment, and a holiday hotel at Little- 
hampton called " The Green Lady." Later on, 
after her marriage Mrs. Pethick Lawrence built a 
small cottage near her house at Holmwood called 
" The Sundial," where the junior members of the 
Esperance Club were invited during the summer. 

Writing of these early years, and of her own 
decision to take part in the Votes for Women Move- 
ment she says: 

Out of that part of my life there stand out many mem- 
ories. ... I remember a little girl belonging to the 
Children's Happy Evening Club, who went mad with grief 
because her widowed mother lost her work, and was in 


despair. The dread of being separated in the workhouse 
was upon the whole family, and the child was taken to the 
asylum, crying, " Poor, poor mother." I remember a girl 
about twenty, alone in the world, earning a pittance as 
a waitress in a tea-shop. She was a quiet, gentle creature, 
who made no complaint. All the greater was the shock 
when the girl put an end to her life, leaving a little note, 
with the words, " I am tired out.*' These two cries stiil 
ring out at times in my memory with their terrible indict- 
ment against life as men have made it. . . . We recog- 
nised the fact that we were only making in a great wilderness 
a tiny garden, enclosed by the wall of human fellowship. As 
we saw more and more of the evil plight of women, we real- 
ised ever more clearly that nothing could really lift them out 
of it until the power had been put into their hands to help 
themselves. . . . Suddenly a light flashed out. News 
came of the arrest and imprisonment of Christabel Fank- 
hurst and Annie Kenney. Here at last was action. 

So it was that Mrs. Pethick Lawrence had prepared 
herself to take part in the great Votes for Women 

We had now decided to organise our London 
Committee on a more formal basis. Mrs. Lawrence 
was asked to become one of Its members and I well 
remember her coming to my little room in Park 
Walk to take part In the formation of the new Cen- 
tral Committee. It was the first time I had seen her, 
and I can never forget how much I was attracted by 
her dark expressive eyes, and the quiet business-like 
way In which she listened to what was being said, 
only Interposing In the debate when she had some- 
thing really valuable to suggest. It was later that 
I noticed the untrammelled carriage and the fine free 
lift of the head. < 

JANUARY TO MAY, 1906 61 

That first meeting was towards the end of Feb- 
ruary and it was arranged that Mrs. Lawrence, her 
friend, Miss Mary Neal, myself, Annie Kenney, my 
aunt, Mrs. Clarke, Mrs. Roe, Miss Irene Fenwick 
Miller, daughter of a well-known early suffragist, 
and Mrs. Martel, of Australia, should form the 
London Committee with my mother and Mrs. Drum- 
mond, who were returning to Manchester. It was 
decided that I was to become the Honorary Secre- 
tary, and Mrs. Lawrence was asked to be Honorary 

We now felt that our next move must be to secure 
an interview with the Prime Minister, and we there- 
fore wrote to Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman ask- 
ing him to receive a deputation from our Union. 
He replied that he could not spare the time to see 
us. Our answer was that, owing to the urgency of 
the question, we could take no refusal, and that a 
number of our members would call upon him at the 
Official Residence, No. 10 Downing Street, on the 
morning of March 2nd, 1906. 

Downing Street is a short road opening out of 
Parliament Street and ending in a flight of steps 
leading into St. James' Park. There are now only 
three houses left in the Street, the others having 
been pulled down to make way for Government 
Buildings. The Official Residence itself was not 
built for its present purpose and consists of two 
comfortable-looking Georgian houses knocked into 
one, each of which is three stories high with attics 
above, and has three windows along the front of the 
first and second floors and two windows and a door 
below. The door is dark green, almost black, 
and has a black iron knocker, a lion's head with 


a ring in its mouth. Above this knocker Is a small, 
circular, brass knob about half an inch in diameter 
and very highly polished and under the knocker is 
a brass plate, equally well polished, inscribed " First 
Lord of the Treasury." There is one shallow, well 
whitened doorstep and on each side of it are black 
iron railings that protect the house from the street. 
The next house. No. ii, is a slightly more ornate 
building in the same style, which was then occupied 
by Mr. Herbert Gladstone. 

On presenting themselves at the door of the 
Official Residence, the deputation from the Women's 
Social and Political Union were told that Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman could receive no one, as he 
had been ill and was still confined to his room. A 
request to see the Prime Minister's secretary was 
also refused, and the door was shut. Then, deciding 
to wait there until they were attended to, the depu- 
tation sat down to rest on the doorstep and dis- 
played a little white ** Votes for Women " banner. 

We had notified the various newspapers * that we 
intended to call on Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- 
man and by this time a number of Press photog- 
raphers had collected. This greatly embarrassed 
the inhabitants of No. lo, and presently the hall por- 
ter opened the door again, and looking very uncom- 
fortable, begged the women to go away. Annie 

1 From the first, the London papers and especially the newly 
inaugurated Daily Mirror, had been somewhat interested in our 
unusual methods of propaganda. It was just at this time that 
the Daily Mail began to call us " Suffragettes " in order to dis- 
tinguish between us and the members of the older Suffrage 
Society who had always been called " Suffragists," and who 
strongly objected to our tactics, 

JANUARY TO MAY, igo6 63 

Kenney assured him that she and her companions 
would remain all day if need be, and after arguing 
for some time, scratching his head and looking very 
much puzzled, he finally asked two members of the 
deputation to go inside, where they were received by 
Mr. Ponsonby, the secretary, who promised to give 
their message to his chief. 

The same evening we held another Committee 
meeting and drafted a further letter to the Prime 
Minister asking for an early opportunity of laying 
our case before him. In response to this letter, he 
returned an evasive reply in which he stated that 
any representations that the Union wished to make 
to him must be put in writing. 

We therefore decided that another attempt must 
be made to interview him and after waiting until 
he had made a complete recovery and was again 
able to take his part in the House of Commons 
debates, a larger deputation, consisting of several 
members of our Committee and some thirty other 
women, made their way to Downing Street about 
10 o'clock on the morning of March 9th. They 
again asked to see the Prime Minister and the door- 
keeper promised to give their message to the sec- 
retary. After they had been waiting for three- 
quarters of an hour two men came out and said to 
them, "You had better be off; you must not stand 
on this doorstep any longer." The women ex- 
plained that they were waiting for a reply but were 
abruptly told that there was no answer and the door 
was rudely shut in their faces. 

Angered by this Miss Irene Miller immediately 
seized the knocker and rapped sharply at the door. 
Then the two men appeared again and one of them 


called to a policeman on the other side of the road, 
" Take this woman in charge." The order was at 
once obeyed, and Miss Miller was marched away to 
Canon Row Police Station. Spurred on by this 
event Mrs. Drummond, exclaiming that nothing 
should prevent her from seeing the Prime Minister, 
darted forward and pulled at the little brass knob 
in the middle of the door. As she did so, she dis- 
covered that the little knob, instead of being a bell, 
as she had imagined, was something very differ- 
ent indeed, for suddenly the door opened wide. 
Without more ado she rushed in and headed 
straight for the Cabinet Council Chamber, but before 
she could get there she was caught, thrown out of the 
house and then taken in custody to the police station. 
Meanwhile Annie Kenney began to address the gath- 
ering crowd, but the man who had first called the 
policeman again looked out and said, " Why don't 
you arrest that woman? She is one of the ring- 
leaders. Take her in charge." Then she was 
dragged away to join her companions. 

The three women were detained at Canon Row for 
about an hour. Then a police inspector told them 
that a message to set them at liberty had been sent 
by the Prime Minister, who wished them to be in- 
formed that he would receive a deputation from the 
Women's Social and Political Union, either individ- 
ually or in conjunction with other women's societies. 
Of course we published Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- 
man's promise broadcast. Shortly afterwards, two 
hundred Members of Parliament, drawn from every 
party, petitioned Sir Henry to fix an early date for 
receiving some of their number in order that they 
might urge upon him the necessity for an immediate 

JANUARY TO MAY, igo6 65 

extension of the franchise to women. He then form- 
ally announced that on May 19th he would receive a 
joint deputation both from Members of Parliament 
representing the signatories to this petition and all 
the organised bodies of women in the country who 
were desirous of obtaining the Suffrage. 

All the women's societies now began to make prep- 
arations for an effective Demonstration on May 19th. 
The National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies 
decided to hold a meeting in the Exeter Hall, but 
we of the Women's Social and Political Union wished 
to do something very much more ambitious than that, 
and we resolved to organise a procession and a demon- 
stration in Trafalgar Square. In view of the im- 
mense work that this would entail, we felt the neces- 
sity of engaging another organiser, and my mother 
now recommended that Miss Billington should be 
asked to undertake the work. 

Born in Blackburn in 1877, Theresa Billington, 
the daughter of a shipping clerk, had been educated at 
a Roman Catholic convent school. Owing to finan- 
cial difficulties at home, she had been set to learn 
millinery at thirteen years of age. At seventeen she 
had made up her mind to be a teacher, and having ob- 
tained one of the Queen's Scholarships, she eventually 
became a teacher under the Manchester Education 
Committee. When she was first introduced to us she 
had come into conflict with the authorities because of 
her refusal to give the prescribed religious Instruc- 
tion to her pupils. My mother, who was then a 
member of the Education Committee, intervened to 
secure that she should be transferred to a Jewish 
school, where she would not be expected to teach 
religion, and thus prevented her dismissal. In 1904, 


at my mother's request, she had been appointed as 
an organiser for the Independent Labour Party. 

About the middle of April, a few weeks after the 
Prime Minister had given his promise to receive the 
deputation, a Parliamentary vacancy occurred in the 
Eye division of Suffolk, and Christabel wrote to our 
London Committee, saying that she thought it ad- 
visable that we should go down to the constituency 
and intimate to the Liberal candidate that, unless he 
could obtain a pledge from his Government to give 
Votes to women, we should oppose his return, and 
that we should take a similar course in the case of 
every future Government nominee. Mrs. Pethick 
Lawrence, Annie Kenney and Theresa Billing- 
ton therefore went down to Eye and inter- 
viewed Mr. Harold Pearson, the Liberal can- 
didate, but he treated the question of Votes for 
Women with contempt and ridiculed the idea 
that women could do anything tcr hinder his 
return. Owing to the size of that large county con- 
stituency and the pressure of work in London these 
three members of our Committee then decided to 
return to London. But at home in Manchester they 
were exceedingly anxious to see the policy of oppo- 
sition to the Government at by-elections put into prac- 

The funds of the Manchester branch of the Union 
were entirely depleted, but five pounds was got to- 
gether, an address to the Electors of Eye from the 
Women's Social and Political Union was printed and 
Mrs. Drummond set off to the constituency to fight 
the election single-handed. Five pounds to fight an 
election campaign with seems an absurdly small sum 
when one realises that the candidates spend many 

JANUARY TO MAY, igo6 67 

hundreds. Nevertheless, though she was entirely 
friendless and unknown in that part of the country, 
Mrs. Drummond succeeded in creating a wonderful 
impression. She could not afford to hire a carriage, 
it is true, but there was always a friendly farmer or 
tradesman who would give the cheery little Scotch- 
woman a lift in his cart, and so active was she that in 
a short time the impression was spread abroad that 
not one solitary Suffragette had gone to Eye, but that 
several were working from different centres. Before 
the end of the Election the Conservative candidate 
and even scornful Mr. Harold Pearson, the Liberal, 
had declared in favour of Votes for Women. 

Meanwhile Mr. Keir Hardie had secured a place 
for a Women's Suffrage Resolution which was to be 
discussed in the House of Commons on the evening 
of April 25th. Though a resolution is only an ex- 
pression of opinion and can have no practical legisla- 
tive effect, this was considered important because it 
was realised that if the new Parliament were to show a 
substantial majority in its support, the women's claim 
that the Government should deal with the question 
would be greatly strengthened. Unfortunately only 
a second place had been obtained for the Resolution. 
Hence there was every reason to fear that, as so 
often before, our talkative opponents would succeed 
in preventing its being voted upon. The situation 
became more hopeful, however, when the Anti-Vivi- 
sectionists, who had obtained the first place for the 
evening, entered into a compromise by which they 
agreed to withdraw their resolution early. The way 
was thus left clear for the Votes for Women Reso- 
lution, but we ourselves still thought that the " talkers 
out " would probably have their way. We were 


determined not to allow this to happen without pro- 
test. Therefore, in order to be in readiness for any 
emergency, a large number of us had obtained tickets, 
for the Ladies' Gallery. 

Looking down through the brass grille, from be- 
hind which women are alone permitted to listen to 
the debates in Parliament, we saw that the House 
was crowded as is usual only at important crises, and 
that both the Government and Opposition front 
benches were fully occupied. The Resolution, 
" That in the opinion of this House it is desirable 
that sex should cease to be a bar to the exercise of 
the Parliamentary franchise " was moved and sec- 
onded in short speeches in order that the opponents 
should have no least excuse for urging that there had 
been no time for their own side to be fairly heard. 
Then Mr. Cremer rose to speak in opposition. His 
speech was grossly insulting to women and altogether 
unworthy of a Member of the People's House of 
Representatives. Both by his words, his voice and 
gestures he plainly showed his entire view of women 
to be degraded and indeed revolting. Yet, though 
one was angry with him, he was an object for pity 
as he stood there, undersized and poorly made, ob- 
viously in bad health and with that narrow, grovel- 
ling and unimaginative point of view, flaunting 
his masculine superiority. The women found it 
very difficult to sit quietly listening to him, and, 
though my mother strove to check them, some sub- 
dued exclamations caught the Speaker's ear. He im- 
mediately gave orders for the police to be in readiness 
to clear the Ladies' Gallery if any further sounds 
should issue from it. But, once Mr. Cremer had fin- 
ished speaking, absolute quiet was restored. Mr. 

JANUARY TO MAY, igo6 69 

Willie Redmond, brother of John Redmond, the 
leader of the Irish Party, then indignantly protested 
against the tone of Mr. Cremer's speech, crying fer- 
vently that he himself had always believed in 
Women's Suffrage because, all his life, he had been 
opposed to slavery in any form, and declaring that 
" any of God's creatures who are denied a voice in the 
Government of their country are more or less slaves," 
and that " men have no right to assume that they are 
so superior to women, that they alone have the right 
to govern." 

All through the debate everyone was waiting for 
a declaration from the Government. At last Mr. 
Herbert Gladstone, the Home Secretary, rose to 
speak, but his words were vague and evasive, and 
whilst not absolutely excluding the possibility of the 
Government's taking the matter up, he certainly made 
no promise on their behalf. 

At ten minutes to eleven Mr. Samuel Evans rose 
with the obvious intention of talking the Resolution 
out and, as eleven o'clock, the hour for closing the 
debate, drew nearer, whilst spinning out his remarks 
by means of some very doubtful jokes, he kept turn- 
ing round, every now and then, to look at the clock. 
Our eyes were also eagerly fixed upon the timepiece. 
Every moment one woman or another stretched across 
and asked Mrs. Pankhurst whether the demonstra- 
tion of protest should begin, but her answer was al- 
ways that there was " time yet," and that we must 

At last someone looked round and saw that the 
police were already in the gallery and we realised that 
we were to be taken away in order that the Resolu- 
tion might be ** talked out " without our having an 


opportunity to protest. Irene Miller could no longer 
be restrained. She called out loudly, " Divide I 
Divide I " as they do in the House of Commons, 
and ** We refuse to have our Resolution talked out/* 
Then we all followed suit, and Theresa Billington 
thrust a little white flag bearing the words, " Votes 
for Women " through the historic grille. It was 
a relief to thus give vent to the feelings of indigna- 
tion which we had been obliged to stifle during the 
whole of the evening, and though we were dragged 
roughly out of the gallery, it was with a feeling al- 
most of triumph that we cried shame upon the men 
who had wasted hours in useless talk and pitiful and 
pointless jokes with which to insult our country- 

But the rough usage of the police was not by any 
means the hardest part of the experience. When we 
reached the Lobby, we learnt that our action had 
been entirely misunderstood. A number of non-mili- 
tant Suffragists were present, and most of these be- 
lieved, as the Members of Parliament were telling 
them, that, but for our ** injudicious " action, a vote 
would have been taken upon the Resolution. They 
met us with bitter reproaches and disdainful glances, 
and even those Members of Parliament who had 
proved themselves to be absolutely careless of our 
question, now took it upon themselves to come up 
and scold us. On all sides we were abused, re- 
pudiated and contemptuously ridiculed, but, after 
a few days, public opinion began to turn somewhat 
in our favour. It leaked out that the Speaker had 
not intended to allow a Resolution calling for the 
closure of the debate to be moved, and it therefore 
became known that we had judged correctly in think- 

JANUARY TO MAY, 1906 71 

ing that the Women's Suffrage motion was to be 
talked out. 

Writing in the Sussex Daily News for May 2nd, 
Mr. Spencer Leigh Hughes, well known under his 
pen name " Sub Rosa," recalled the account given 
in Lady Mary Montague's " Memoirs " of the way 
in which the Peeresses of the eighteenth century had 
frequently disturbed the serenity of the House of 
Lords debates, and how they had triumphed over 
the Lord Chancellor Philip Yorke, First Earl of 
Hardwicke, who had attempted to exclude them from 
the House of Lords. Lady Mary describes the 
" thumping," " rapping " and " running kicks " at 
the door of the House of Lords, indulged in by the 
Duchess of Queensberry and her friends, the strategy 
by which they finally obtained an entry, and the way 
in which, during the subsequent debate, they " showed 
marks of dislike not only by smiles and winks (which 
have always been allowed in these cases), but by 
noisy laughs and apparent contempts." Mr. Hughes 
ended by saying, " After this excellent and pertinent 
account of the action of the Peeresses in the House 
of Lords, I suppose no one will be so silly as to 
complain of what the women did the other day in 
the House of Commons." 

Mr. $tead in the Review of Reviews published an 
article by a " Woman's Righter," who said: 

Patience has been tried long enough, and what has it 
brought? Less than one ten minutes' expression of the 
divine impatience that the Suffragists showed in the Ladies' 
Gallery that memorable night ! . . . " Surely it was 
unwomanly?" Pshaw! It was not anything like so un- 
womanly as it was unmanly to allow a cause admittedly 
just to be stifled without a single indignant protest. 


Nevertheless, our supporters were still in the minor- 
ity. Instead of upholding what we had done to 
rebuke the anti-Suffragists for their mean and cow- 
ardly policy of obstruction (a policy which had pre- 
vented the enfranchisement of women for so many 
years), the National Union of Women's Suffrage So- 
cieties and some of the members of the Parliamentary 
Committee, which was at the time engaged in ar- 
ranging the deputation to the Prime Minister, now 
urged that the Women's Social and Political Union 
had disgraced itself too deeply to form part of the 
deputation. Efforts were made to induce us to with- 
draw from it, but this we refused to do. At last, 
both because some Members of Parliament — and it 
is said Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman himself — 
strongly supported our claim to be represented, and 
because it was well known that if we were not re- 
ceived we should simply agitate for another deputa- 
tion, the attempt to exclude us had to be abandoned. 

On the morning of May 19th our procession 
started from the Boadicea statue on Westminster 
Bridge. First came the members of the Deputation 
to the Prime Minister, amongst whom were to be 
seen the veteran Suffragist, fragile little Mrs. Wol- 
stenholme Elmy, with her grey curls, Mrs. Pankhurst, 
Mrs. Pethick Lawrence, Mr. Keir Hardie, and Annie 
Kenney, wearing the clogs and shawl which she had 
worn in the Lancashire cotton mill. Amongst the 
deputation marched a body of women textile workers 
from Lancashire and Cheshire, who had joined us, 
carrying the bright banners of their respective trades. 
Then came the great red banner of the Women's 
Social and Political Union, inscribed in white letters 
with the words, "We demand Votes for Women 

JANUARY TO MAY, 1906 73 

this Session." The poles of the banner were lashed 
to a big forage lorry in which rode a number of 
women, who were either too old or too feeble to 
walk. After these came the members of the 
Women's Social and Political Union and women 
members of various other societies and last of all, 
a large contingent from the East End of London, 
a piteous band, some of them sweated workers them- 
selves, others the wives of unemployed working men, 
and many of them carrying half-starved-looking ba- 
bies in their arms. 

The deputation which assembled at the Foreign 
Office was introduced by Sir Charles M'Laren, and 
It was arranged that there should be eight women 
speakers. The first of these was the aged Miss 
Emily Davies, LL.D., one of the two women who 
in 1866, more than forty years before, had handed 
to John Stuart Mill the first petition for Women's 
Suffrage ever presented to Parliament, and whose 
part in opening the University examinations to 
women, and in founding Girton, the first of the 
women's colleges, will be gratefully remembered by 
women of all ages. In pleading for the removal 
of the sex disability Miss Davies said : '* We do not 
regard it as a survival which nobody minds. We 
look upon it as an offence to those primarily con- 
cerned, and an injury to the community." Then 
Mrs. Eva M'Laren, Miss Margaret Ashton and 
Mrs. RoUand Rainy, representing respectively some 
80,000, 99,000 and 14,000 women Liberals in Eng- 
land and Scotland, urged, each in her own way, that 
the Party for which these women had done so much 
should extend the franchise to them. 

Miss Eva Gore Booth and Mrs. Sarah Dickinson, 


who had herself been a factory worker for sixteen 
years and a Trade Union Organiser for a further 
eleven years, then spoke on behalf of the fifty dele- 
gates from the Lancashire and Cheshire Textile and 
other Workers' Representation Committee. They 
dwelt on the low wages — often no more than six or 
seven shillings a week, and the other heavy economic 
hardships under which the women whom they repre- 
sented were obliged to labour. They pointed out 
that these women, millions of whom since leaving 
school had never eaten a meal which they had not 
earned, were not only helping to produce the great 
wealth of the country but were caring for their homes 
and their children at the same time, and urged that 
they were every day more gravely conscious of the 
heavy disadvantage under which they suffered from 
their absolute lack of political power. Industrial 
questions were now becoming political questions, they 
said, and the vast numbers of women workers had 
their point of view and their interests which ought 
to be taken into consideration, but which were disre- 
garded because they were without votes. 

Next followed Mrs. Gasson, the speaker for 425 
branches and 22,000 members of the Women's Co- 
operative Guild. She said that the Co-operative 
movement, with its 62,000,000 members and annual 
trade of £60,000,000, had often been called a 
" State within a State." In that State women had 
votes, they attended quarterly business meetings and 
voted side by side with men on questions of trade, 
employment and education. Women were elected 
as directors of Co-operative societies and also on Ed- 
ucational Committees connected with the Co-operative 
movement. And yet the prosperity of the co-opera- 

JANUARY TO MAY, igo6 75 

tive " State " continued to increase, although in many 
places the women members outnumbered the men. 
The Co-operative Guild Women saw that when ques- 
tions affecting the Co-operative movement came be- 
fore Parliament the movement lost much of its power 
because the women had no vote. Unwise or unjust 
taxation was injurious to the Co-operative trade, and 
women were the chief sufferers by unjust taxation. 
Whatever taxes were put upon necessaries men did 
not receive larger incomes, and so women had less 
to spend. That very month Mr. Birrell had received 
Resolutions from large conferences of the Co-opera- 
tive Guild members, urging that medical examination 
should be made compulsory under the New Educa- 
tion Bill, but the Resolutions were worth nothing 
without a vote behind them. The women who had 
sent up these Resolutions felt " like a crying child 
outside the door of a locked room, demanding en- 
trance with no one to open it." Most of the Co- 
operators were married working-women. Their 
houses were both their workshops and their homes, 
and therefore Housing and public Health questions 
were especially important to them. Their incomes 
were affected by laws relating to trades, accidents, 
pensions and all industrial legislation that went to 
secure the good health of the workers. Therefore 
they appealed that this common right, the right of 
a citizen, should be granted to them and to other 

Mrs. Watson spoke on behalf of the Scottish 
Christian Union of the British Women's Temperance 
Association, with a membership of 52,000 women. 
Then Mrs. Mary Bateson presented a petition for 
the franchise from 1,530 women graduates, amongst 


whom were Doctors of Letters, Science and Law in 
the Universities of the United Kingdom, the British 
Colonies and the United States. 

Mrs. Pankhurst spoke for the Women's Social and 
Political Union, the militant organisation of which 
most of the others were half afraid. She urged on 
its behalf that the women of the country should be 
enfranchised during that very year, either by a clause 
in the Plural Voting Bill then before Parliament, 
or by a separate measure. Assuring the Prime Min- 
ister that the members of the Union believed that no 
business could be more pressing than this, she stated 
calmly and firmly that a growing number of them 
felt the question of Votes for Women so deeply that 
they were prepared, if necessary, to sacrifice for it 
life itself, or what was perhaps even harder, the 
means by which they lived. She appealed to the 
Government to make such sacrifices needless by doing 
this long-delayed act of justice to women without 

Now that the women had all clearly and carefully 
laid their case before him. Sir Henry Campbell-Ban- 
nerman rose to reply. He began as though he had 
been an earnest and convinced supporter of the 
Women's cause and dwelt at length not only upon 
the benefits which the franchise would confer upon 
them, but also on the enthusiasm which they had 
shown in working for it, their fitness to exercise it 
and the good work which they had already done in 
public affairs. Then, after a long pause, he said: 
" That is where you and I are all agreed. It has 
been very nice and pleasant hitherto, but now we 
come to the question of what I can say to you, not 
as expressing my own individual convictions, but as 


speaking for others, and I have only one thing to 
preach to you and that is the virtue of patience." 
With hurried hesitating accents he explained that 
there were members of his Cabinet who were op- 
posed to the principle of giving votes to women, 
and that, therefore, he must conclude by saying, " It 
would never do for me to make any statement or 
pledge under these circumstances.'* Poor blundering 
old man, if he really spoke truthfully to the deputa- 
tion, one may well pity him in that invidious and 
humiliating position. 

During Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's last 
words there had been a strange silence amongst the 
women, and as he resumed his seat a low murmur 
of disappointment ran through the room. Mr. Keir 
Hardie had been asked by those in charge of the 
arrangements to move the vote of thanks to the Prime 
Minister for having received the Deputation, and, 
though he now performed this duty with character- 
istic graciousness of manner, he plainly said that all 
present must have suffered great disappointment on 
hearing the Prime Minister's concluding statement. 
Nevertheless, they were glad to learn that the leaders 
of the two great political parties in the House of 
Commons were now personally committed to the 
question, by Mr. Balfour, a statement he had made 
in the House a few evenings before and the Prime 
Minister by what he had said that afternoon. 
" With agreement between the leaders of the two 
great historic parties," Mr. Hardie said gravely, 
" and with the support of the other sections of the 
House, it surely does not pass the wit of statesman- 
ship to find ways and means for the enfranchisement 
of the women of England before this Parliament 


comes to a close." At this point Sir Henry Camp- 
bell-Bannerman turned and looked at Mr. Keir 
Hardie and solemnly shook his head. 

After the resolution had been seconded Mrs. Elmy, 
whose name had not been placed upon the authorised 
list of speakers, interposed, saying that she had 
worked in the cause of Women's Suffrage since Octo- 
ber, 1865, and that during that period she had seen 
the men voters of the country increased from less 
than 700,000 to more than 7,000,000. When the 
Reform Act of 1884 had been under consideration, 
women Suffragists had been full of hope, but Mr. 
Gladstone had refused point blank to give them the 
franchise. No Parliament had ever offered a greater 
insult to womanhood than the Parliament of that 
year, for it had actually taken six or seven divisions 
on the point as to whether a criminal should con- 
tinue to be disfranchised for more than a year after 
his release from prison, but only one division had 
been taken to decide that English women should not 
exercise the vote. Every year it had become more 
and more difficult to remedy the injustices under 
which women suffered. ** If I were to tell you of 
the work of the last twenty years of my life," she 
said, " it would be one long story of the necessity 
for the immediate enfranchisement of women." 

The vote of thanks to Sir Henry Campbell-Ban- 
nerman was then carried with feeble spiritless clap- 
ping and some hisses. Then the Prime Minister 
made his reply, but he did not in any way strengthen 
his previous declaration and ended by saying that 
what women had to do was '* to go on converting 
the country." As he concluded Annie Kenney sud- 

JANUARY TO MAY, igo6 79 

denly rose up and cried, ** Sir, we are not satisfied, 
and the agitation will go on." 

Then we dispersed to meet again at three o'clock 
in Trafalgar Square. No better meeting place could 
have been chosen, for it was here in Trafalgar Square, 
that Edmund Beales and the other leaders of the 
Reform movement had spoken when the Hyde Park 
gates had been closed against them by the authorities 
on that historic 23rd of July, 1866, on which the 
Park railings were pulled down and the blow struck 
which won the Parliamentary vote for t;he working 
men in the towns. It was here, too, that in Febru- 
ary, 1886, John Burns had made that speech to the 
starving unemployed men of his own class which 
caused him to suffer a month's imprisonment and 
made him a famous man, and it was here in Trafal- 
gar Square on the 5th of November, 1887, that, in 
taking part in the Demonstration against the impris- 
onment of O'Brien and the other Irish leaders, poor 
Alfred Linnell had been trampled to death by the 
horses of the police. - 

On this ground, consecrate to the discontented and 
the oppressed, under that tall column topped by the 
statue of the fighting Nelson and on that wide plinth, 
flanked by the four crouching lions, the first big open- 
air Women's Suffrage meeting in London was held. 
By three o'clock more than 7,000 people had assem- 
bled. I well remember every detail of the scene. 
In my mind's eye I can clearly see the Chairman, my 
mother, with her pale face, her quiet dark clothes, her 
manner, calm as it always is on great occasions, and 
her quiet-sounding but far-reaching voice with its 
plaintive minor chords. I can §ee beside her the 


strangely diverse group of speakers: Theresa Bil- 
lington in her bright blue dress, strongly built and 
up-standing, her bare head crowned with those brown 
coils of wonderfully abundant hair. I see Keir 
Hardie, in his rough brown homespun jacket, with 
his deep-set, honest eyes, and his face full of human 
kindness, framed by the halo of his silver hair. 
Then Mrs. Elmy, fragile, delicate, and wonderfully 
sweet, with her face looking like a tiny bit of finely 
modelled, finely tinted porcelain, her shining dark- 
brown eyes and her long grey curls. Standing very 
close to her is Annie Kenney, whose soft bright hair 
falls loosely from her vivid sensitive face, and hangs 
down her back in a long plait, just as she wore it in 
the cotton mill. Over her head she wears a grey 
shawl as she did in Lancashire, and pinned to her 
white blouse is a brilliant red rosette, showing her 
to be one of the marshals of the procession, whilst 
her dark-blue serge skirt just shows the steel tips of 
her clogs. How beautiful they are, these two women, 
as hand clasped in hand they stand before us ! — one 
rich in the mellow ^sweetness of a ripe old age which 
crowns a life of long toil for the common good; the 
other filled with the ardour of a chivalrous youth; 
both dedicated to a great reform. But now, Annie 
Kenney speaks. She stands out, a striking, almost 
startling, figure, against the blackened stone-work of 
the plinth and speaks with a voice that cries out for 
the lost childhood, blighted hopes and weary, over- 
burdened lives of the women workers whom she 
knows so well. 




Deputations to Mr. Asquith at Cavendish Square; 
Women Arrested and Imprisoned; The By-elec- 
tions AT Cockermouth; Adoption of the Anti- 
Government Policy. 

As Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman had told the 
deputation that he could not do anything for us 
because some members of his Cabinet were opposed 
to Women's Suffrage, we determined to bring special 
pressure to bear upon the hostile Ministers, the most 
notorious of whom was Mr. Asquith, the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer. Strangely enough, just as we had 
decided upon this course of action, we were virtually 
advised to adopt it by no less a person than Mr. 
Lloyd George, at that time. President of the Board 
of Trade. When interrupted by Suffragettes in 
Liverpool Mr. George claimed the sympathy of the 
audience on the ground that he himself was a be- 
liever in Votes for Women, and said: " Why do they 
not go for their enemies ? Why do they not go for 
their greatest enemy?" At once there was a cry 
of " Asquith ! Asquith 1 " from all parts of the 
hall, and as Mr. Lloyd George made no attempt 
to repudiate the suggestion that he had referred to 
Mr. Asquith, it was very generally assumed that he 
had done so. An opportunity to " go for " Mr. 
Asquith soon presented itself on the occasion of his 
6 81 


speaking at Northampton on June 14th. A few 
days before the meeting, Theresa Billington and 
Annie Kenney visited the town and in a series of open- 
air meetings took the people of the place entirely 
into their confidence, with the result that Mr. Asquith 
was welcomed not by cheering but by hooting crowds. 
During the meeting and at the end of his speech 
Mr. Asquith was questioned by several women, all 
of whom were ejected with the greatest violence, 
whilst the audience broke into the now familiar tur- 
moil. The cowardly and unnecessary brutality shown 
to them by the stewards at recent Liberal meetings, 
had by this time aroused great indignation amongst 
the women. Theresa Billington, who was of strong 
and vigorous physique and whose instinct, like that 
of every man, was to strike back if she were hit, 
had come to feel that she could no longer quietly 
endure the disgraceful treatment to which she had 
been subjected on several occasions. To this meet- 
ing therefore, she had gone armed with a dogwhip, 
the weapon she felt most suitable to employ against 
cowardly men. Her intention was not to use it if 
she were merely dragged out of the meeting, just 
as a man might have been, but only if her assail- 
ants should seek to take advantage of the fact that 
she was a woman and should behave in a peculiarly 
objectionable way.^ Therefore, when the stewards 
had torn down her hair and treated her with every 
form of indignity and violence, not merely in drag- 

1 Out of all the many hundreds of women who have taken 
part in the militant Suffrage movement, and in spite of the many 
kinds of violence to which they have been subjected, only three 
women upon three single occasions, have ever made use of any 
weapon to protect themselves from their assailants. 

MAY TO AUGUST, 1906 ^ 83 

ging her from the hall but outside in the corridors 
as well, she had pulled out her whip and made a 
fairly free use of it. 

The general trend of events now made us feel 
the necessity of securing a personal interview with 
. Mr. Asquith, and we therefore wrote asking him to 
receive us. He replied that his rule was not to re- 
ceive any deputation unconnected with his office of 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and we then wrote as 
follows : — 

To THE Right Hon. H. H. Asquith, Chancellor of 

THE Exchequer. 

I am instructed by my Committee to say that the subject 
of the enfranchisement of women, which they desire to lay 
before you, is intimately bound up with the duties of your 
office. Upon no member of the Cabinet have women greater 
claims than upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Your 
Budget is estimated on a system of taxation which includes 
women. Women not being exempt from taxation have a 
right to claim from you a hearing. Women are told that 
you are mainly responsible for the refusal of the Prime 
Minister to deal with their claim. But being convinced of 
the justice of giving votes to women they renew their re- 
quest that you receive a deputation on an early date in 
order that their case may be presented to you. 

Faithfully yours, 

E. Sylvia Pankhurst. 
Hon. Sec. of the London Committee of the Women's Social 

and Political Union 45, Park Walk, Chelsea, S.W. 

Mr. Asquith returned no answer to this our 
second letter, and therefore, without making any fur- 
ther attempt to obtain his consent, we wrote to hira 
saying that a small deputation would call at his 


house, No. 20 Cavendish Square, on the morning of 
Tuesday, June 19th. On the appointed day the 
women arrived just before 10 o'clock in the morn- 
ing, but, early as it was, they were told that 
Mr. Asquith had already gone to the Treasury. 
They thereupon decided that half their number 
should wait on the doorstep and that the other half 
should go to look for him. Those who went to the 
Treasury were told that Mr. Asquith had not ar- 
rived, and those who remained on guard at his house 
were equally unsuccessful, for whilst they had been 
standing there waiting, the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer had escaped through the back door in a 
closed motor car. 

Our determination to meet Mr. Asquith face to 
face was still strong, and after our failure to see 
him on the Tuesday we at once wrote to say that 
we were sending a larger deputation to interview 
him in two days' time. We had now three flourish- 
ing branches of the Union in London, one in the 
centre and two in the East End, and some thirty or 
forty representatives, partly drawn from these 
branches and partly from our central Committee, 
formed the deputation. 

Carrying little white Votes-for- Women flags and 
headed by Theresa Billington, some thirty of the East 
End members marched off in procession for Mr. As- 
quith's house ; but on arriving at the edge of Caven- 
dish Square, they were met by a strong force of police 
who told them that they must at once turn back. 
The poor women stood still in affright, but would 
not turn. Then the police fell upon them and began 
to strike and push them and to snatch their flags 
away. Theresa Billington tried in vain to prevent 

MAY TO AUGUST, tgo6 85 

this violence, "We will go forward,** she cried* 
** You shall not hit our women like that,** but a 
policeman struck her in the face with his fist and 
another pinioned her arms. Then she was seized by 
the throat and forced against the railings until, as 
was described by an onlooker, " she became blue 
in the face." She struggled as hard as she could to 
free herself but was dragged away to the police 
station with the East End workers following in her 

Immediately afterwards Annie Kenney, with a 
number of others, most of whom were members of 
our Committee, came into the Square. Annie knew 
nothing of what had taken place and, preoccupied 
and intent on her mission, she walked quickly across 
the road, but, as she mounted the steps of Mr. 
Asquith's house and stretched out her hand to ring 
his bell, a policeman seized her roughly by the arm 
and she found herself under arrest. Following 
this, Mrs. Knight, one of the East End workers, who, 
because she suffered from hip disease had felt that 
she could not walk in the procession, came into the 
Square and crossed the road. On seeing none of the 
other women she concluded that they had already 
gone into Mr. Asquith's house. She intended to 
join them but, just as she was about to step on to 
the pavement opposite No. 20, she was roughly 
pushed off the curb-stone by a policeman and ar- 
rested as soon as she attempted to take another step 
forward. Mrs. Sparborough, a respectable elderly 
woman dressed with scrupulous neatness in worn 
black garments, who by the work of her needle sup- 
ported herself and her aged husband, stood watch- 
ing this scene in deep distress. Noticing that two 


maid servants and some ladies at the window of 
Mr. Asquith's house were laughing and clapping 
their hands, she turned to them protesting gravely: 
** Oh, don't do that. Oh, don't do that. It is a 
serious matter. That is how the soldiers were sent 
to FeatherstoneJ' ^ A policeman immediately 
pounced upon her and dragged her away. 

At the police court afterwards Theresa Billington, 
on being charged with an assault upon the police, 
refused either to give evidence or to call witnesses in 
her defence, saying that she objected to being tried 
by a court composed entirely of men and under laws 
in the framing of which men alone had been con- 
sulted. Her plea was abruptly swept aside and she 
was ordered to pay a fine of £io or in default to go 
to prison for two months.^ 

Miss Billington chose imprisonment, but her reso- 
lution was balked by "an anonymous reader of the 
Daily Mirror/^ who handed the amount of her fine 
^to the Governor of HoUoway Gaol.^ 

1 Some years before a trades dispute had taken place at 
Featherstone in the course of which Mr. Asquith was said to 
have ordered that the military should be called out, and as a 
result the soldiers had fired upon the workingmen who were on 
strike. In consequence of this Mr. Asquith became so unpop- 
ular that he was frequently assailed at Public Meetings by the 
cry of "Featherstone Asquith, the Assassin." Mrs. Sparbor- 
ough, like many other persons had of course read of this. 

2 On a protest being raised in the House, this sentence was 
afterwards reduced by half. 

3 In the case of Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney, the 
Governor of Strangeways had refused money tendered to him by 
outsiders, saying that he was not authorised to accept a fine 
paid in this way, but now the Governor of Holloway, after con- 
sultation with the Home Office accepted the fine, and told Miss 
Billington that she must leave the prison. 

MAY TO AUGUST, igo6 87 

The charges of disorderly conduct against the 
other three women were adjourned until July 14th. 

Every charge against the prisoners, except that 
of being in Cavendish Square with the object of 
seeing Mr. Asquith broke down, but Mr. Paul 
Taylor, the magistrate, who seemed quite incapable 
even of trying to understand their motives, decided 
that they had created an obstruction and ordered 
them to enter into their own recognisances in the 
sum of £50 and to find one surety for the same 
amount, to be of good behaviour and to keep the 
peace for twelve months. In the event of their not 
finding such sureties and consenting to be so bound 
over he ordered that they should be sent to prison 
for six weeks. 

To agree to be, bound over to keep the peace would 
have been both an admission of wrongdoing and a 
promise to refrain from similar methods of agitation. 
Rather than this Annie Kenney preferred to suffer 
a second imprisonment and the other women, though 
they had but recently joined the Union and though 
many friends urged that they had already done good 
work and might now fairly return to their homes, 
decided that they too would go to gaol. 

In the meantime there were stirring doings in 
Manchester. On June 23rd there had been a great 
Liberal Demonstration at the Zoological Gardens, 
Belle View, on the outskirts of the town, where Mr. 
Lloyd George, Mr. John Burns and Mr. Churchill 
had been the principal speakers. Representatives of 
the Women's Social and Political Union had been 
present to question the Cabinet Minister and had 
been thrown out as soon as they had raised their 
voices. In the scuffle Mr. Morrissey, a Liverpool 


city councillor, intervened to protect his wife from 
the violence of the stewards and was very roughly 
used. As the Suffragettes were flung by the stewards 
into the public road outside they were ordered to 
moye on by the police and because Mr. Morrissey, 
whose leg had been seriously injured by his assail- 
ants, was unable to walk away, he was arrested. 
Seeing this my youngest sister, Adela, then scarcely 
out of her teens, and only about five feet in height, 
expostulated with one of the constables and in doing 
so laid her hand upon his arm, saying, " Surely you 
can see that Mr. Morrissey cannot walk I " But 
at that she was accused of attempting to effect a 
rescue, and was also taken into custody. The coun- 
cillor's wife and a friend, who both offered similar 
protests, were treated in the same way. The case 
of these four people came up in Manchester simul- 
taneously with that of Annie Kenney and her com- 
rades in London, with the result that Adela was com- 
mitted to prison for a week on refusing to pay a 
fine ^ of five shillings and costs whilst Mrs. Morrissey 
and Mrs. Mitchell on refusing to be bound over to 
keep the peace were imprisoned for three days. Of 
course this punishment was for daring to urge an 
unwelcome question upon Members of the Govern- 
ment, but as this was not a punishable act the 
charges of disorderly conduct outside in the road had 
been trumped up. 

The question of these trials was raised in the 
House of Commons by Mr. Keir Hardie, who de- 
clared that it was stretching the law too far to for- 

^Mr. Morrissey, who could not afford to leave his business, 
was regretfully obliged to pay his fine. 

MAY TO AUGUST, 1906 89 

bid a deputation to approach a private house. He 
also pointed out that Mr. James Kendall, one of 
the magistrates who had tried the case of the Man- 
chester Suffragettes, and had been Chief Steward at 
the Liberal meeting from which they had been 
ejected, Mr. Cremer and Mr. Maddison both de- 
livered vindictive speeches against the Suffragettes, 
the former describing the sentence passed upon 
them as " extremely lenient " and the latter re- 
ferring to them as '' female hooligans." The more 
sensational and less reputable of the newspapers 
adopted a similar line speaking of the women as 
^'Kenney," "Knight" and " Sparborough," call- 
ing them '* mock martyrs " and " martyrettes " and 
publishing hideous and libellous drawings of them. 
Even the staider and more serious periodicals gave 
one-sided and biassed accounts of what had taken 
place, rebuking the Suffragettes for what they 
termed their ** disgraceful behaviour," telling them 
that they were " ruining " their cause, and urging 
them to save it by returning to '* Constitutional " and 
** orderly " methods of propaganda. 

The following interesting and valuable letter 
to the press from Mr. T. D. Benson, the Treasurer 
of the Independent Labour Party cleverly exposed 
the hypocrisy of these strictures : — 

Dear Sir: 

Having had, through illness, plenty of time on my hands 
this last week, I have made a calculation of the number of 
years which the lady Suffragettes have put back their move- 
ment. I find that it amounts to somewhat about 235 years. 
The realisation therefore, of their aims is, according to this 
mode of chronology, as far off in the future as the Plague 
and the Fire of London are in the past. Nevertheless, I 


shall not be surprised if they succeed within the next twelve 
months, or two or three years at the most. 

Of course, when men- wanted the franchise, they did not 
behave in the unruly manner of our feminine friends. They 
were perfectly constitutional in their agitation. In Bristol 
I find they only burnt the Mansion House, the Custom 
House, the Bishop's Palace, the Excise Office, three prisons, 
four toll-houses, and forty-two private dwellings and ware- 
houses, and all in a perfectly constitutional and respectable 
manner. Numerous constitutional fires took place in the 
neighbourhoods of Bedford, Cambridge, Canterbury and 
Devizes. Four men were respectably hanged at Bristol and 
three in Nottingham. The Bishop of Lichfield was nearly 
killed, and the Archbishop of Canterbury was insulted, 
spat upon, and with great difficulty rescued from amongst 
the yells and execrations of a violent and angry mob. The 
Suffragists in those days had a constitutional weakness for 
Bishops, and a savage vandalism towards cathedrals and 
bishops' palaces. A general strike was proposed, and secret 
arming and drilling commenced in most of the great Chartist 
centres. Wales broke out even into active rebellion, and 
nine men were condemned to death. At London, Bradford, 
York, Sheffield, Liverpool, Chester, Taunton, Durham and 
many other towns long sentences of penal servitude were 
passed. In this way the males set a splendid example of 
constitutional methods in agitating for the franchise. I 
think we are well qualified to advise the Suffragettes to 
follow our example, to be respectable and peaceful in their 
methods like we were, and then they will have our sympathy 
and support. 

Yours truly, 
" The Downs," T. D. Benson. 

July 3rd, 1906. 

The day after the trial Mrs. Pethick Lawrence 
received from Annie Kenney a little note hastily 

MAY TO AUGUST, 1906 91 

scribbled in pencil and posted by some kind-hearted 
person just as she was being taken away from the 
Police Court cell. " I am writing this," it read, 
*' before going in the van. I am very happy and 
I shall keep up and be brave and true, and when I 
come out I shall be fully prepared to do anything the 
Union asks of me." 

As yet most of us knew little of the interior of a 
prison, but, on those burning July days, we knew 
enough to think with sorrow and anxiety of our 
comrades shut away from the beauty of the summer 
in the heat of their small, stifling cells. We heard 
with joy that they were happy and contented to 
suffer imprisonment for the women's cause. 

And now it seemed to us as though the spirit of 
revolt against oppression were flowing onward and 
spreading, like some great tide to all the woman- 
hood of the world. We read of that wonderful 
Marie Spiridorovna, the Russian girl who after en- 
during the most incredible and unspeakable tor- 
ture and dying in the agony of her wounds, was yet 
upborne by the greatness oir the cause for which she 
suffered, and cried with her last breath, " Mother, 
I die of joy." The movement towards liberty then 
springing up amongst the women of the Far East 
also inspired us. We read of the words of one of 
the Korean women leaders who said : — 

The women of our country are the most pitiable of all 
civilised humanity. . . . They are enclosed like pris- 
oners, bottled up like fish. But we must remember that 
after the cock crows the dawn comes, and after work there 
is reward. Should we but put forth together our feeble 
efforts a way will be found of accomplishing our object 
and women will gradually be able to stand in the shining 


light of the sun and to breathe the sweet heavenly air 
freely and happily. 

News of the Women's cry for freedom came to 
us from North, South, East and West, and we 
felt ourselves part of a Universal movement. We 
were keyed up to any sacrifice. We felt that the 
fate of other women depended upon us. We knew 
that our battle to overcome the first and greatest 
barrier — to obtain political liberty — was to be a 
sharp one. We hoped it would be short. We 
heard that on June 14th, but a month before our 
women had gone to prison, -the women of Finland 
had gained their vote. We believed then that the 
franchise would be won for British women within 
a few months' time. 

Very soon after Annie Kenney, Mrs. Knight and 
Mrs. Sparborough had gone to prison, another op- 
portunity occurred for our Union to strike a blow at 
the Government, for it was announced that there was 
to be a by-election ; this time at Cockermouth. Chris- 
tabel was at first the only member of the Union 
free to take part in the Election. She at once intro- 
duced an entirely new departure in electioneering tac- 
tics by hiring a stall in the market-place, where she 
sold Votes-for-Women literature. When, by this 
means she had collected a sufficient crowd around her, 
she mounted a stool and addressed the people, explain- 
ing to the electors that she wished them to vote 
against the Liberal candidate in order to show the 
Government that they did not approve of its re- 
fusal to give votes to women. After a time other 
women joined her and the little band of Suffragettes 
made a considerable impression upon the people of 
Cockermouth, who had heard of the imprisonments 

MAY TO AUGUST, 1906 93 

in London and Manchester and who were deeply 
moved by learning that women were prepared thus 
to fight and to suffer for their cause. When on 
August 3rd, the poll was declared, it was found 
that the Liberals had lost the seat which had long 
been held for them by Sir Wilfred Lawson, and that 
Sir John Randies, the Unionist candidate had been 
returned by a majority of 690. The figures being : 

Sir John Randies (U) 4,593 

Hon. F. Guest (L) 3,903 

Robert SmilHe (Lab.) 1,436 

The Votes at the General Election had been : 

Sir W. Lawson (L) * 5,439 

Sir J. Randies (U) 4,784 

Probably because the Liberal nominee against 
whom she was working had been returned to Parlia- 
ment, and also because she had been single-handed, 
Mrs. Drummond's campaign at Eye had passed al- 
most unnoticed outside the constituency itself. At 
Cockermouth, on the other hand, the Liberal had 
been defeated, and so it naturally followed that all 
the influences that had led to his defeat were care- 
fully analysed by the politicians and the Press. 
Some of the members of the Women's Social and 
Political Union had formerly been Liberals and 
though the Liberal leaders steadfastly declared that 
the action of women could make no possible differ- 
ence to the situation, they were very deeply in- 
censed by the thought that women should dare to 
put the question of their own enfranchisement be- 
fore every other consideration and, instead of seek- 


ing to win the Government's favour as they had 
done In the past, should prefer attempting to force 
those in power to attend to their claims. 

To a man the politicians were surprised. *' Who 
would have dreamt," they said, " that women could 
be so selfish ? " Though their candidate, Mr. 
Robert Smillie, had not been attacked, the Labour 
men were also discontented, for there were Labour 
women in the Women's Social and Political Union, 
and they considered that these particular women 
ought to have been working directly for the Labour 
Party and not to have been subordinating its inter- 
ests to the getting of votes for themselves. The 
Conservatives meanwhile said very little about the 
matter, for their candidate had won and having, 
therefore, no reason to be aggrieved, they con- 
tented themselves with declaring that a glorious 
victory had been won for the cause of Tariff Re- 

So much for the politicians. The Party- follow- 
ing Press, with scarcely an exception, had been 
unanimous from the very first in their hostility to 
the Women's Social and Political Union and its 
methods. Now, as before, they either shook their 
heads at us, expressing sorrow and regret that we 
should place ourselves in opposition to the " forces 
of progress," or merely professed amusement that 
we should be so foolish and conceited as to think 
that anything that we could say or do would influ- 
ence elections. 

Timid and half-hearted friends of the Suffrage 
movement also condemned the new by-election policy 
on the ground that it was unwise for women to thus 
oppose the Government that had the power, if it 

MAY TO AUGUST, igo6 95 

wished, to give them what they asked. All this, 
of course, was to be expected, and so was compara- 
tively easy to meet — it is what every true reformer 
has had to face. But even amongst some of those 
who had been hitherto the warmest supporters of 
the Suffragettes and all that they had done, there was 
much heart-searching and heart-burning because of 
the independent by-election policy, and it was felt 
by these that a mistake was being made in thus 
holding aloof from Men's party organisations and 
counting as nought the opinions of private Members 
of Parliament. The W. S. P. U. pointed out to 
them that a large majority of the private Members 
in the House of Commons had long been pledged 
to give their support to Women's Suffrage but that 
these pledges had been useless. This was due in 
the first place to the fact that private Members had 
little power to carry their pledges into effect because 
practically all the time at the disposal of Parliament 
was taken up by the Government, and that, as had 
been done on the 29th of April, a few obstructionists 
could easily block the question unless the party in 
power were prepared to find further time for it. 
Besides this, private members had over and over 
again shown that they would willingly break the 
pledges they had made to women at the bidding 
of their party leaders. 

But these explanations failed to reassure many 
faint-hearted doubters, for though they agreed that 
in theory the independent policy was well enough, 
they felt convinced that in practice it was doomed 
to fail. They freely admitted that the women, by 
their clever speeches and the undeniable justice of 
their cause, would be almost certain to convince the 


electors that they were in the right, but they urged 
that the British elector was a hard-headed individual, 
who could never be induced to throw aside his party 
politics and to cast his vote on this one issue alone, 
especially as this issue was a women's question that 
did not directly affect him. 

So these critics agreed that the policy would " be 
possible with an electorate of heroes, but not with 
average men." For this reason it must fail. 

But in spite of these gloomy predictions the 
Women's Social and Political Union held to its 
course, and did not swerve one hair's-breadth from 
the plan of campaign that it had laid down. 

An Anti-Government election policy has fre- 
quently been employed by men politicians; notably 
by the Irish under Parnell. In the course of the 
agitation for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases 
Acts, Mrs. Josephine Butler and her colleagues 
fought the Government at many by-elections, but 
with that exception an Anti-Government by-election 
policy had never been adopted by women. In fol- 
lowing it out now, when many members, even of 
our own Committee doubted its wisdom, and few 
were really enthusiastic in its favour, Christabel 
Pankhurst, its originator In this case, gave evidence 
of that keen political insight and that indomitable 
courage and determination which are so essential to 
real leadership, and which have since enabled her to 
steer the Suffragette ship through so many dangerous 
shoals and quicksands. 

On August 14th the three Suffragettes, " Mr. 
Asquith's Prisoners," as they had been called, were 
released from HoUoway. They were all cheerfully 

MAY TO AUGUST, 1906 97 

and bravely uncomplaining. Mrs. Knight and 
Annie Kenney were bodi white and feeble-looking 
but only spoke of their anxiety to be of service to 
the cause, whilst Mrs. Sparborough, though she had 
got rheumatism through being made to scrub the 
stone floor of her cell without a kneeler, made light 
of the imprisonment, saying that she had felt peace- 
ful and happy and had sung hymns to herself to 
drive her loneliness away. 

And now great meetings of welcome to the pris- 
oners were being held in London and Provincial 
campaigns were being organised in various parts of 
the country. Everywhere that the fiery torch of 
zeal and enthusiasm was carried there was warm 
sympathy from the masses of the people and the 
slumbering desire for enfranchisement amongst all 
classes of women began to awake. Mrs. Lawrence 
was holding a series of fine meetings in Yorkshire. 
Annie Kenney, after addressing vast and enthusias- 
tic crowds in Lancashire, made her way up to Scot- 
land and with Theresa Billington went on to Mr. 
Asquith's constituency of East Fife. Aroused by 
their speeches the women here demanded that The 
Chancellor of the Exchequer should receive them in 
deputation. He judged it wisest to consent, but 
protected himself from meeting the two ex-prisoners 
by stipulating that only residents in the constituency 
should be present. In his reply to this deputation 
he declared himself to be still an opponent of their 
cause. " Then there is no hope for women? " asked 
one of them; but he only answered ** Women must 
work out their own salvation." 

In Wales the flag of the W. S. P. U. was being 


hoisted by Mary Gawthorpe,^ another new recruit, 
a winsome, merry little creature, with bright hair 
and laughing hazel eyes, a face fresh and sweet 
as a flower, the dainty ways of a little bird, and 
having with all so shrewd a tongue and so sparkling 
a fund of repartee, that she held dumb with aston- 
ished admiration, vast crowds of big, slow-thinking 
workmen and succeeded in winning to good-tem- 
pered appreciation the stubbornist opponents. 
Whilst she was in his constituency, it was announced 
that Mr. Samuel Evans who had " talked out " the 
Votes-for- Women resolution on the twenty-ninth of 
April, and who was now appointed a Law Officer 
of the Crown, was coming to speak to his constit- 
uents. Miss Gawthorpe determined to talk him out 
as he had '* talked out " the Women's resolution. 
She therefore attended two of his meetings and at 
the first of these was dragged out by the stewards, 
but at the second a strong force of men gathered 
round to protect her and insisted that she should be 
heard. The Chairman then tried to checkmate her 
by playing the Welsh National Anthem, but little 
Mary won all hearts by leading off the singing, 
and so poor a figure did Mr. Samuel Evans cut 

1 Mary Gawthorpe had become a pupil teacher at the age of 
thirteen and had worked for her living from that time. Amongst 
other distinctions, she had taken a first class King's Scholarship. 
She had represented the Leeds Labour Church on the Local 
Labour Representation Committee. She had been a member of 
the Leeds Committee for the Feeding of School Children, and 
the Leeds Committee of the National Union of Teachers. In 
1906 she had been elected as Labour delegate to the University 
Extension Committee, she was Vice-President of the Leeds In- 
dependent Labour Party and Secretary to the Women's Labour 

MAY TO AUGUST, 1906 99 

that Mrs. Evans was said to have declared that next 
time there was a Women's Suffrage debate in the 
House of Commons she should keep her husband 
at home. 

In London the work was being organised by Chris- 
tabel, who amongst other things was conducting an 
active campaign in Battersea, the constituency repre- 
sented by Mr. John Burns, the President of the 
Local Government Board. The income of the 
Union was still very small, and everything had to 
be done with the strictest possible economy. The 
money for meetings in halls was only forthcoming on 
very special occasions, and wherever possible the 
expenses of printing and advertising were curtailed. 
A large number of meetings were held at street 
corners, with a chair borrowed from a neighbouring 
shop as platform, and, in order to collect a crowd, 
my sister started the custom of ringing a large muffin 
bell. One of those who had been greatly impressed 
by the work of our Union was Miss Elizabeth 
Robins, the novelist, whose impressions of these 
early days of the movement are so graphically de- 
scribed in her novel. The Convert. 

The following extract from this book is a very 
truthful picture of a typical Battersea meeting: 

In Battersea you go into some modest little restaurant, 
and you say, " Will you lend me a chair? " This is a sur- 
prise for the restauranteur. . . . Ernestine carries the 
chair into the road and plants it in front of the fire station. 
Usually there are two or three helpers. Sometimes Ernes- 
tine if you please, carries the meeting entirely on her own 
shoulders — those same shoulders being about so wide. Yes, 
she is quite a little thing. If there are helpers she sends 
them up and down the street sowing a fresh crop of hand- 


bills. When Ernestine is ready to begin she stands on 
that chair in the open street and, as if she were doing the 
most natural thing in the world, she begins ringing that 
dinner bell. Naturally people stop and stare and draw 
nearer. Ernestine tells me that Battersea has got so used 
now to the ding-dong and to associating it with " our meet- 
ings," that as far oif as they hear it the inhabitants say, 
" It's the Suffragettes, come along." And from one street 
and another the people emerge laughing and running. Of 
course, as soon as there is a little crowd that attracts some 
more, and so the snowball grows. • • • Last night she 
was wonderful. . . . When she wound up "The mo- 
tion is carried ; the meeting is over ! " and climbed down 
off her perch, the mob cheered and pressed round her so 
close that I had to give up trying to join her. I extricated 
myself and crossed the street. She is so little that unless 
she is on a chair she is swallowed up. For a long time 
I could not see her. I did not know whether she was 
taking the names and addresses of the people who wanted 
to join the Union, or whether she had slipped away and 
gone home, till I saw practically the whole crowd moving 
off with her up the street. I followed for some distance 
on the off side. She went calmly on her way — a tiny 
figure in a long grey coat between two " helpers," a Lan- 
cashire cotton spinner and the Cockney working-woman and 
that immense tail of boys and men (and a few women) 
all following after — quite quiet and well-behaved — just 
following because it didn't occur to them to do anything 
else. In a way she was still exercising her hold over her 
meeting. I saw presently there was one person in front 
of her; a great big fellow who looked like a carter. He 
was carrying home the chair. . . . Oh, if you could 
only see her! Trudging along, apparently quite oblivious 
of her quaint following, dinner bell in one hand, leather 
case piled high with leaflets on the other arm. Some of 
the leafllets sliding off and tumbling onto the pavement. 
Then dozens of hands helped her to recover her property. . . • 



A Protest Meeting in the Lobby of the House of 
Commons. Eleven Women go to Prison. What 
IT IS Like in Holloway Gaol. 

On October 3d, 1906, Parliament re-assembled 
for the Autumn session. A large number of our 
women made their way to the House of Commons 
on that day, but the government had again given 
orders that only twenty women at a time were to be 
allowed in the Lobby. All women of the working 
class were rigorously excluded. My mother and 
Mrs. Pethick Lawrence were among those who suc- 
ceeded in gaining an entrance. They at once sent in 
for the Chief Liberal Whip and requested him to 
ask the Prime Minister, on their behalf, whether he 
proposed to do anything to enfranchise the women 
of the country during the session, either by including 
the registration of qualified women ia the provisions 
of the Plural Voting Bill then before the House, or 
by any other means. The Liberal Whip soon re- 
turned with a refusal from the Government to hold 
out the very faintest hope that the vote would be 
given women at any time during their term of 

On hearing this, Mrs. Pankhurst and Mrs. Pethick 
Lawrence returned to their comrades and consulted 



with them. The women had received a direct rebuff, 
and they felt that they must now act in such a way 
as to prove that the Suffragettes would no longer 
quietly submit to this perpetual ignoring of their 
claims. They therefore decided to hold a meeting 
of protest, not outside in the street, but just there, 
in the Lobby of the House of Commons — of all 
places the most effective one for women to choose 
for a meeting, because the nearest within their reach 
to that legislative Chamber which had so frequently 
refused to grant them the franchise. Once made, 
the resolution was acted upon without delay. Mary 
Gawthorpe mounted one of the settees close to the 
statue of Sir Stafford Northcote and began to ad- 
dress the crowd of visitors who were waiting to in- 
terview various Members of Parliament. The other 
women closed up around her, but in the twinkling of 
an eye dozens of policemen sprang forward, tore 
the tiny creature from her post and swiftly rushed 
her out of the Lobby. Instantly Mrs. Despard, a 
sister of General French, a tall, ascetic-looking, grey- 
haired figure, stepped into the breach; but she also 
was roughly dragged away. Then followed Mrs. 
Cobden Sanderson, a daughter of Richard Cobden, 
and many others, but each in her turn was thrust out- 
side and the order was given to clear the Lobby. 
Mrs. Pankhurst was thrown to the ground in the 
outer entrance hall and many of the women, thinking 
that she was seriously hurt, closed round her refusing 
to leave her side. Crowds were now collecting in 
the roadway and the women who had been flung 
out of the House attempted to address them but 
were hurled away. 

Annie Kenney, who had scarcely recovered from 


the effects of her last imprisonment, had been told 
by the Committee that she must not take any part in 
the demonstration for fear that she should be again 
arrested. She agreed to run no risks, but she could 
not keep entirely away from the scene of action and, 
standing on the other side of the road, was now 
watching to see what might befall her comrades. In 
the midst of the struggle she noticed that Mrs. 
Pethick Lawrence was being roughly handled, and 
impulsively ran forward to ask her if she were hurt. 
Being already well known to the police, she was im- 
mediately arrested. Mrs. Lawrence was greatly 
distressed and cried out, " You shall not take this 
girl; she has done nothing." But the only result 
of her protest was that she herself was also taken 
into custody. Before long seven women had shared 
the same fate, including Miss Jrene Miller, my sister 
Adela Pankhurst, and Mrs. How Martyn, B.Sc, 
who had recently become Honorary Secretary of the 
London Committee of the Women's Social and Po- 
litical Union. ^ 

Meanwhile, some of the poor women who had 
marched from the East End and who had been de- 
nied admission to the Lobby, were resting their tired 
limbs on the stone benches in the long entrance hall, 
and after Mrs. Cobden Sanderson had made her 
attempt to speak and had been hustled away, she 
seated herself quietly beside these women and began 
to talk with them. Shortly afterwards a young po- 
liceman came up and abruptly ordered her away and, 

1 The Secretarial duties had now increased so greatly that no 
one person could cope with them without giving the whole of 
her time to the work. As I was unable to do this, I had been 
obliged to resign. 


as she did not go he seized her and dragged her to 
the police station. 

The next morning the women were brought up at 
Rochester Row Police Court before Mr. Horace 
Smith. Mrs. Cobden Sanderson's sisters, Mrs. Cob- 
den Unwin and Mrs. Cobden Sickert and several 
friends and relatives of the other women, had come 
early in order that they might be sure of obtaining 
a seat In Court. Whilst another trial was in prog- 
ress the Usher had asked them to leave the Court for 
the present in order to make room for other people, 
saying, " You shall be allowed in again when your 
own case comes on." They at once acceded to his 
request, but were prevented from returning and were 
subsequently told that no women would be allowed 
to enter. Some twenty or thirty of us had by this 
time congregated in the large entrance hall, but, 
though men were constantly passing in and out of 
the Court where the trial was taking place, admit- 
tance was denied to us. Many of us wished to tes- 
tify as witnesses, but we were told that we could not 
go into the Court, and were taken into a side room, 
where an attempt was made to lock us in. To pre- 
vent this, we insisted upon standing in the doorway. 

In the meantime the case against the ten Suffra- 
gists was being hurried through. They were all put 
into the dock together. After the police evidence 
had been heard against them, Mrs. Cobden Sander- 
son asked leave to make a statement. You must 
not picture her to yourself as being either big-boned, 
plain-looking and aggressive and wearing " mannish " 
clothes, or as emotional and overstrung. On the 
contrary, she is just what Reynolds, Hoppner, Sir 
Henry Raeburn, or Romney with his softest and ten- 


derest touch, would have loved to paint. Not very 
tall, she is comfortably and firmly knit and as she 
walks she puts her foot down quite firmly, in a dig- 
nified and stately way. She is always dressed in low- 
toned greys and lilacs, and her clothes are gracefully 
and delicately wrought, with all sorts of tiny tuckings 
and finishings which give a suggestion of daintiest 
detail without any loss of simplicity or breadth. She 
has a shower of hair like spun silver that crinkles itself 
in the most original and charming way, and which she 
binds around with broad ribbon, lest its loose falling 
strands should mar the neatness of her aspect. Her 
cheeks are tinged with the soft dull rose that one 
sees in pastel, and her eyes have the most genial and 
benevolent glance. 

Speaking now to the Magistrate, she said, quite 
quietly, that she had gone to the House of Com- 
mons to demand the vote; that so long as women 
were deprived of citizen rights and had, there- 
fore, no constitutional means of obtaining redress, 
they had a right to be heard in the House of 
Commons itself. She wished to take the whole re- 
sponsibility of the demonstration upon her own 
shoulders. " If anyone is guilty," she said, " it is 
I. I was arrested as one of the ringleaders, and 
being the eldest of these, I was most responsible." 
Then she quoted in her defence the words of Mr. 
John Burns, who was now the President of the Local 
Government Board and who, in circumstances simi- 
lar to those in which she was placed, had said, " I 
am a rebel because I am an outlaw. I am a law- 
breaker because I desire to be a law-maker." 

At this point the Magistrate, who had repeatedly 
interrupted her, refused to hear any more, or to al- 


low any statement at all from the other prisoners, 
although in doing so, he was disregarding every legal 
precedent. He said that each of the ten defendants 
must enter into her own recognisances to keep the 
peace for six months and must find a surety for her 
good behaviour in £io, and that if she failed to do 
this, she must go to prison for two months in the 
second division. The women at once protested 
against this mockery of a trial, and raising a banner 
bearing the words ** Women should vote for the laws 
they obey and the taxes they pay " declared that they 
would not leave the dock until they had been allowed 
the right to which all prisoners were entitled, namely 
that of making a statement in their own defence. 
But Mr. Horace Smith cared nothing for the justice 
of what they said; he merely called the police and the 
women were forcibly removed. 

The Police Court authorities now announced to 
those of us who were waiting in the witness room 
that the case was over and that our friends had been 
taken to Holloway. I can scarcely express our feel- 
ings of indignation. It seemed, indeed, terrible that 
ten upright, earnest women should have been thus 
hustled off to prison, without a word from their 
friends, after a trial lasting less than half an hour. 

Some protesting, others filled with silent conster- 
nation, the women turned to go, but I, myself, felt 
that I could not leave without a single word of re- 
buke to those who had conducted the proceedings 
against us so shamefully. I therefore returned to 
the door of the inner court and asked to be admitted. 
" It is all over," said the doorkeepers, " there is 
nothing to interest you now; " but I walked quickly 
past them and entered the court. It was quite a 


small room ; one could easily make oneself heard with- 
out raising one's voice, and as shortly as I could, I 
told the magistrate how women had been refused 
admittance whilst the trial was in progress, and how 
some who had actually taken their seats had been 
tricked into leaving. I pointed out to him that as it 
was customary to allow the general public, and es- 
pecially friends of the prisoners, to be present in 
court, it was grossly unfair to refuse to do so in this 
case, and likely to destroy confidence in the justice 
of the trial. I was explaining that even the women 
who had wished to testify as voluntary witnesses had 
been kept out of the court, when the magistrate in- 
terrupted me saying, " There is no truth in any of 
your statements. The court was crowded." 

I was then serzed by two policemen, dragged across 
the outer lobby and flung into the street. Here a 
great mass of people had assembled and I felt that 
I ought not to go away without telling them some- 
thing of the cause for which we were fighting and 
of the very scanty justice which had been doled out 
to our women. I tried to speak to them, though I 
had been rendered almost breathless by the violent 
manner of my ejection, and only to those who were 
near me could I make myself heard. In a moment, 
I hardly knew how or why, I was again seized by the 
policeman and dragged back into the court house. 
Soon afterwards I found myself in the dock before 
Mr. Horace Smith, and was charged with causing an 
obstruction and with the use of violent and abusive 
language. I protested against the latter half of the 
charge and it was immediately withdrawn. At 
greater length than on the first occasion, I was then 
able to describe all that had happened within the 


precincts of the court. Many of our friends and 
members, on hearing that all was not over, had re- 
turned and from amongst them I called as witnesses 
to the truth of my statement, Mrs. Cobden Unwln, 
Mrs. Cobden Sickert and a number of other ladies, 
but their testimony was ignored and I was found 
guilty and sentenced either to pay a fine of £i or 
to undergo fourteen days' imprisonment in the third 
and lowest class. Of course I chose the latter al- 
ternative, and was taken to join my comrades in the 
cells. But now, instead of being ordered away as 
before, our friends were allowed to come up and 
bring us lunch and talk to us for a little while. 

The police court cells were small and dark, fur- 
nished only with a wooden seat fastened to the wall 
and a sanitary convenience. The walls were white- 
washed, the floors were of stone, and each of the 
cells opened into a long stone passage, whose barred 
windows overlooked the courtyard, beyond which 
we could see through gaps in the prison buildings, 
the crowds of people who were assembled in the 
street beyond. We were not shut up in the cells 
but allowed to move about from one to another, or 
to stand in the passage, at the end of which were 
several stone steps leading up to a strongly-fastened 
iron gate. This passage, though dimly lit, was 
lighter than the cells and seemed to us less insanitary, 
and so as we had many hours to wait before we 
were to be taken to HoUoway in the prison van, 
" Black Maria," we seated ourselves together on the 
stone steps. Someone had brought with her a vol- 
ume of Browning, and Mrs. Lawrence read aloud 
to us from those of the poems which seemed to apply 
to our own case. 


AH too soon the order came for us to go down to 
the van and, one by one, as our names were called, 
we walked across the yard, climbed the steps and 
took our places separately in one of the twelve little 
compartments which it contained. I was one of 
the two last to enter, and I had, therefore, a little 
more of the fresh air than most of the others, and 
from the small barred window of my compartment, 
I could see the burly form of the guarding policeman 
who stood in the passageway between us and, when 
he moved from time to time, could see past him and 
out the barred window in the door of the van to the 
streets through which we drove. 

How long the way seemed to HoUoway, as the 
springless van rattled over the stones and constantly 
bumped us against the narrow wooden pens in which 
we sat! As it passed down the poor streets, the 
people cheered — they always cheer the prison van. 
It was evening when we arrived at our destination, 
and the darkness was closing in. As we passed in 
single file through the great gates, we found our- 
selves at the end of a long corridor with cubicles on 
either side. A woman officer in hoUand dress, with 
a dark blue bonnet, with hanging strings on her head 
and with a bundle of keys and chains jangling at her 
waist, called out our names and the length of our 
sentences and locked each of us separately into one 
of the cubicles, which were about four feet square 
and quite dark. In the door of each cubicle was a 
little round glass spy-hole, which might be closed by 
a metal flap on the outside. Mine had been left 
open by mistake, and through it I could see a little 
of what was going on outside. 

Once we had been locked away, the wardress came 


from door to door, taking down further particulars 
as to the profession, religion, and so on, of each 
prisoner — there were many beside ourselves — and 
asking if we and they could read and write and sew. 
Meanwhile the prisoners called to each other over 
the tops of the cubicles in loud, high-pitched voices. 
Every now and then the officer protested, but still 
the noise continued. Soon another van load of 
prisoners arrived and the cubicles being filled, sev- 
eral women together were put into the same compart- 
ment, — sometimes as many as five in one of those 
tiny places! It was very cold, and the stone floor 
made one's feet colder still, yet for a long time — 
until I was so tired that I could no longer stand — 
I was afraid to sit down because, in the darkness, 
one could not see whether, as one feared, everything 
might be covered with vermin. 

After waiting a long time, the prisoners were sent 
to see the doctor, and we Suffragists stood waiting in 
a line together. The wardress passed constantly up 
and down our ranks saying, " AH of you unfasten 
your chests." When at last we got into the doctor's 
room, he either asked us no questions, or said in a 
mechanical way, "Are you all right?" then he 
touched us quickly with his stethoscope and we passed 
back to our cubicles. 

After another long wait we were sent to change 
our clothes. In a large room, lined with shelves, 
with two or three wardresses hovering about, and 
one seated at a table, we were told to undress, three 
or four at a time, and given a short cotton chemise 
to put on after we had removed our own clothes. 
Then we were ordered to hand over our clothes, 
hats, dresses, boots and all together, which were 


roughly tied up In bundles and placed upon the 
shelves. Then, barefooted, and wearing only the 
chemise, we were made to march across to the officer 
at the table. The officer now told us to deliver to 
her our money, jewellery, hair pins and hair combs. 
She gave us back the hair pins and kept everything 
else, taking down particulars of these and entering 
them in a book. At the same time she again asked 
us our names, ages, and the other particulars which 
we had now given so often. After this we were 
searched; the officer first telling us to put up our 
arms, and then feeling us all over and examining 
our hair to see that we had nothing concealed about 
us. A wardress then led us through a doorway into 
the dimly lit bath room. 

The baths were separated from each other by par- 
titions, and from the rest of the room by a half door 
which had no fastening and over which the wardress 
could look. The baths were of black iron, covered 
with an old and very dingy coat of white paint, 
which had worn off in patches and the woodwork 
which enclosed them was stained and worn. I 
shrank from entering the bath, but I was shivering 
with cold, and though I feared it was not clean, there 
was something comforting about the feel of the warm 
water. Presently the wardress hung some towels 
and underclothing over the top of the wooden door, 
and told me to dress as quickly as I could. I has- 
tened to obey her, and found that the clothes, which 
were badly sewn and badly cut, were of coarse calico 
and harsh woollen stuff, and that there were innu- 
merable strings to fasten around one's waist. A 
strange-looking pair of corsets was supplied to each 
of us, but these we were not obliged to wear unless 


we wished. The stockings were of harsh thick wool, 
and had been badly darned. They were black with 
red stripes going around the legs, and as they were 
very wide, and there were no garters or suspenders 
to keep them up, they were constantly slipping down 
and wrinkling around one's ankles. 

On opening my door I found that outside all was 
hurry and confusion. In the dim light the women 
were scrambling for the dresses, which were lying in 
big heaps on the floor. The skirts of these dresses, 
like the petticoats — of which there were three — 
were of the same width at both top and bottom and 
they were gathered into wide bands which, though 
fastened with tapes were not made to draw up, and 
had to be overlapped in the most clumsy fashion in 
order to make them fit any but the very stoutest 
women. The bodices were so strangely cut that even 
when worn by very thin people they seemed bound 
to gape in front,, especially as they were fastened 
with only one button at the neck. My bodice, the 
only one I could manage to get hold of, had several 
large rents, which had been roughly cobbled together 
with black cotton.^ Every article of clothing was 
conspicuously stamped with the broad arrow, which 
was painted black on light garments, and white on 
those which were dark. 

I had scarcely fastened my dress when somebody 
called out to us all: " Look sharp and put on your 
shoes." These we had to take for ourselves from 
where they were bundled together on a wooden rack. 
None of them seemed to be in pairs and they were 
heavy and clumsy, with leather laces that, when one 

1 Some days afterwards it was condemned and I had a some- 
what better one given to me. 


attempted to tie them, broke easily in the hand. 
Lastly, white cotton caps fastened under the chin 
with strings and stamped in black with the broad 
arrow, and the blue and white check aprons and hand- 
kerchiefs, both of which looked like dusters,^ were 
given to us and we were led off on a long journey 
to the cells. 

It seemed a sort of skeleton building that we were 
taken through — the strangest place in which I had 
ever been. In every great oblong ward or block 
through which we passed, though there were many 
stories, one could see right down to the basement 
and up to the lofty roof. The stone floors of the 
corridors lined the walls all the way round, jutting 
out at the junctions of the stories like shelves some 
nine or ten feet apart, being protected on the outer 
edge by an iron wire trellis work four or five feet high, 
and having on the wall side rows and rows and rows 
of numbered doors studded with nails. The various 
stories were connected by flights of iron steps bor- 
dered by iron trellis work, and reaching in slanting 
lines from corridor to corridor. All the walls and 
doors were painted stone colour and all the iron 
work was painted black. 

We clattered up those seemingly endless flights and 
shuffled along those mazy corridors in our heavy 
shoes and at last stopped at a small office, rather 
like one of the pay desks which one sees in drapers' 
shops, where our names and the length of our sen- 
tences and all the various other particulars were 
verified once more, and the sheets for the bed, a 
Bible and a number of other little books with black 

1 We afterwards learnt that one clean handkerchief was sup- 
plied each week. We had no pockets to keep them in, 


shiny bindings, were given out to us. Annie Kenney 
had told us that a tooth brush would be given to us 
if we asked for it, but that if we neglected to do this, 
nothing would be said about it, and we might not be 
allowed to have it later. As we waited in line I 
noticed that the other women were eating chunks of 
brown bread, ^ but, though by this time I was very 
hungry, none had been given to me. I asked Mrs. 
Baldock, who stood next to me, where she had got 
her bread, and she told me that one of the ward- 
resses had given it to her, and seeing that I had been 
overlooked, she broke off half her own small loaf 
and gave it to me. These were the last words I 
was to have with my fellow prisoners, for, whilst 
they had been put into the second class, I had been 
sentenced to the third, and even in chapel they were 
hidden from me by a buttress. 

After another long march through the prison cor- 
ridors, a wardress, with her jangling keys, unlocked a 
number of heavy iron doors and having ordered each 
of us to enter one of them separately, shut them 
behind us again with a loud bang. I now found 
myself in a small whitewashed cell twelve or thirteen 
feet long by seven feet wide, and about nine feet 
high. The floor was of stone. The window, 
which was high up near the ceiling had many little 
panes, enclosed in a heavy iron frame-work and 
guarded by strong iron bars outside. The iron door 
was studded with nails and its round eye-like spy- 
hole was now covered on the outside. On the left- 
hand side of the door was a small recess, some four 

1 Each prisoner, on the day of entering is according to prison 
rules to be given a supper consisting of six ounces of meat and 
one pint of cocoa. 


feet from the ground, in which, behind a pane of 
thick opaque glass was a flickering gas jet which cast a 
dim light into the cell. Under this" recess was a 
small wooden shelf, somewhere about fourteen or 
fifteen inches square, which I afterwards learnt was 
called the table, and opposite this was a wooden 
stool. By the window, set into the corner of the 
room, was another shelf about three feet six inches 
high, with one about six inches from the floor im- 
mediately under it. The lower shelf was for the 
mattress and bedding. The upper one held a 
wooden spoon, a pint pot of block tin stamped with 
the broad arrow, a wooden saltcellar, a small piece 
of hard yellow soap, a red card case containing some 
prison rules and a card on which was printed a morn- 
ing and an evening prayer, a small oval hair brush 
without a handle, like a good-sized nail brush, and 
a comb between three and four inches long. On 
this shelf I was afterwards told to place my books 
and tooth brush. These things had all to be kept 
in certain never varying positions. On the floor, 
leaning against the wall under the window, were ar- 
ranged a number of utensils made of block tin, these 
being a plate, a small water can holding about three 
pints of water, a tiny shallow wash-basin less than a 
foot in diameter, and a small slop-pail with a lid. 
Two little round brushes, in shape rather like those 
we use for brushing clothes with, which were in- 
tended for sweeping the floor, a little tin dust pan, 
and a piece of bath-brick wrapped in some rags for 
cleaning the tins. These also were all placed in an 
order which, as I soon learnt, was never to be 
changed. A small towel and a smaller table cloth, 
both of them resembling dish cloths, hung on a nail. 


Propped against the right-hand wall was the plank 
bed, with the pillow balanced on top. The bed is, 
I think, two feet six inches in width, and when in 
position for sleeping is raised up by two cross pieces 
to about two inches from the floor. 

As I was examining in wonder all these various 
things, a wardress opened the door and said sharply, 
"What, have you not made your bed yet? The 
light will be put out soon. You had better make 
haste!" "Please can I have a nightdress?"^ I 
asked, but she answered " No." Then the iron door 
banged and I was left alone for the night. 

After eating my little piece of bread, I did as I 
was told and tried to sleep. But sleep is one of the 
hardest things to obtain in Holloway. The bed is 
so hard, the blankets and sheets are scarcely wide 
enough to cover one, and the pillow, filled with a 
kind of herb, seems as if it were made of stone. 
The window is not made to open. The system of 
ventilation is exceedingly bad, and though one is 
usually cold at night one always suffers terribly from 
the want of air. 

I learnt next day that we were as yet only in the 
admission cells, and as everyone was too busy to set 
us to work we had nothing to do but examine our 
books. These I found, in addition to the prayer 
book, consisted of a Bible, a hymn book, a tract 
called " The Narrow Way," which was intended to 
show how easy it is to fall into temptation, and a 
little book on health and cleanliness, which described 
the way in which human beings afe gradually poi- 

1 Since this time night dresses have been introduced into Hol- 
loway, and are given to Suffragettes, and, let us hope, to other 


soned when they were not able to get enough fresh 

The following day we were removed to the cells 
which we were to occupy during the remainder of 
our imprisonment. Many of the ordinary cells are 
exactly like the reception cells, but the cell into which 
I was now put was smaller, but better lit than the 
reception cell, for it had a larger window and there 
was a small electric light bulb attached to the wall 
instead of the recessed gas jet. Hanging on a nail 
in the wall was a large round badge made of yellow 
cloth bearing the number of the cell and the letter 
and the number of its block in the prison. I was 
told to attach this badge to a button on my bodice, 
and henceforth, like the other prisoners, I was called 
by the number of my cell, which happened to be 

Suppose yourself to be one of the Third Class 
prisoners. Like them you will follow the same rou- 
tine. Each morning whilst it is still quite dark you 
will be awakened by the tramp of heavy feet and 
the ringing of bells; then the light is turned on. 
You wash in the tiny basin and dress hurriedly. 
Soon you hear the rattle of keys and the noise of 
iron doors. The sound comes nearer and nearer 
until it reaches your own door. The wardress flings 
it open and orders sharply, " Empty your slops, 
12 1 " You hasten to do so, and return at the word 
of command. 

Then, just as you have been shown, you roll your 
bed. The first sheet is folded in four, then spread 
out on the floor, and rolled up from one end, tightly, 
like a sausage. The second sheet is rolled round it, 


and round this, one by one, the blankets and quilt. 
You must be careful to do this very neatly or you 
are certain to be reprimanded. 

Next clean your tins. You have three pieces of 
rag with which to do this. Two of them are 
frayed scraps of brown serge, like your dress, and 
the other is a piece of white calico. These rags 
were probably not new and fresh when you came 
here, but had been well used by previous occupants 
of the cell. Folded up in these rags you will find 
a piece of bath-brick. You have been told to rub 
this bath-brick on the stone floor until you have 
scoured off a quantity of its dust. Then you take 
one of the brown rags and soap this on the yellow 
cake which you use for your own face. Then with 
the soapy rag you rub over one of the tins, and this 
done, dip the rag into the brick-dust which is lying 
on the floor and rub it on to the soapy tin. Then 
you rub it again with the second brown rag and 
polish with the white calico one that remains. You 
must be sure to make all the tins very bright. 

Presently the door opens and shuts again. Some- 
one has left you a pail of water; with it you must 
scrub the stool, bed and table, and wash the shelves. 
Then scrub the floor. All this ought to be done 
before breakfast, but unless you are already experi- 
enced in such matters it will take you very much 

Before you have done your task there comes again 
the jangling of keys and clanging of iron doors. 
Then, "Where's your pint, 12?" You hand it 
out, spread your little cloth and set your plate ready. 
Your pint pot is filled with gruel (oatmeal and water 
without any seasoning), and six ounces of bread are 


thrust upon your plate. Then the door closes. 
Now eat your breakfast, and then, if your cleaning 
is done, begin to sew. Perhaps it is a sheet you have 
to do. Of these, with hem top and bottom and 
mid-seam, the minimum quantity wTiich you must 
finish, as you will learn from your '* Labour Card " 
is 15 per week. 

At half past eight it is time for chapel. The 
officer watches you take your place in line among the 
other women. They all wear numbered badges like 
yours, and are dressed as you are. A few, very few, 
four or five perhaps, out of all the hundreds in the 
Third Division, wear red stars on caps and sleeves. 
This is to show that they are first offenders who 
have previously borne a good character and have 
someone to testify to that fact. Every now and 
then the wardress cries out that someone is speaking, 
and as you march along there is a running fire of 
criticism and rebuke. " Tie up your cap string, 27. 
You look like a cinder-picker. You must learn to 
dress decently here." " Hold up your head, number 
30." " Hurry up, 23." In the chapel it is your 
turn. " Don't look about you, 12." In comes the 
clergyman. He reads the lessons and all sing and 
pray together. 

Can they be really criminals, all these poor, sad- 
faced women? How soft their hearts are I How 
easily they are moved I If there is a word in the 
services which touches the experience of their lives, 
they are in tears at once. Anything about children, 
home, affection, a word of pity for the sinner, or of 
striving to do better, — any of these things they feel 
deeply. Singing and the sound of the organ make 
them cry. Many of them are old, with shrunken 


cheeks and scant white hair. Few seem young. All 
are anxious and careworn. They are broken down 
by poverty, sorrow and overwork. Think of them 
going back to sit, each in her lonely cell, to brood 
for hours on the causes which brought her here, 
wondering what is happening to those she loves out- 
side, tortured, perhaps, by the thought that she is 
needed there. How can these women bear the slow- 
going, lonely hours? Now go back to your cell 
with their faces in your eyes. 

At twelve o'clock comes dinner. A pint of oat- 
meal porridge and six ounces of bread three days a 
week, six ounces of suet pudding and six ounces of 
bread two days a week, and on two other days eight 
ounces of potatoes and six ounces of bread. 

After dinner you will leave your cell no more 
that day, except to fetch water between two and three 
o'clock, unless it be one of the three days a week on 
which you are sent to exercise. In that case, having 
chosen one for yourself from a bundle of drab- 
coloured capes, and having fastened your badge to it, 
you follow the other women outside. There, all 
march slowly round in single file with a distance of 
three or four yards between each prisoner. Two of 
the very oldest women, who can only totter along, go 
up and down at one side, passing and repassing each 

If you came into the prison on Wednesday, the 
first day for you to exercise will be Saturday. How 
long it seems since you were last in the outside world, 
since you saw the sky and the sunshine and felt the 
pure fresh air against your cheek! How vividly 
everything strikes you now. Every detail stands out 
in your mind with never-to-be-forgotten clearness. 


Perhaps it is a showery Autumn day. The blue sky 
is flecked with quickly driving clouds. The sun 
shines brightly and lights up the puddles on the 
ground and the raindrops still hanging from the 
eaves and window ledges. The wind comes in little 
playful gusts. The free pigeons are flying about in 
happy confidence. You notice every variation in 
their glossy plumage. Some are grey with purple 
throats, some have black markings on their wings, 
some are a pale brown colour, some nearly white; 
one is a deep purple, almost black, with shining white 
bars on his wings and tail. All are varied — no 
two are alike. The gaunt prison buildings surround 
everything, but in all this shimmering brightness, in 
this sweet, free air, they have lost for the moment 
their gloomy terror. 

Now, your eye lights on your fellow prisoners. 
You are brought back to the dreary truth of prison 
life. With measured tread, and dull listless step, 
they shufile on. Their heads are bent, their eyes 
cast down. They do not see the sun and the bright- 
ness, the precious sky or the hovering birds. They 
do not even see the ground at their feet, for they pass 
over sunk stones, through wet and mud, though 
there be dry ground on either side. The prison 
system has eaten into their hearts. They have lost 
hope, and the sight of nature has no power to make 
them glad. It may be that when next you walk 
with them you will feel as they do. These gloomy 
overshadowing walls and the remembrance of your 
narrow cell, with its endless twilight and dreary, 
useless tasks may have filled your mind and driven 
away all other thoughts. 

Once inside, the last break in the day will be 


supper at five o'clock (Irke breakfast, six ounces of 
bread and a pint of gruel), except that just before 
the light goes out at night, comes a noisy knocking 
at every door, and the cry, "Are you all right?" 
Then darkness, a long, sleepless night, and the 
awakening to another day like yesterday and like 



Further Arrests. The " Mud March." 

Whilst their comrades were in Holloway, the 
W. S. P. U. members were putting forth redoubled 
efforts to press forward the work outside. A mani- 
festo explaining the objects of our movement and 
calling upon the women of the country to stand by 
those who had gone to prison and to fight with them 
to secure enfranchisement was posted upon the walls 
and circulated broadcast as a leaflet. This appeal 
met with a far readier response than any that had 
yet been made. Amongst people of all parties, there 
was a growing feeling that the imprisoned Suffra- 
gettes should receive the treatment due to political 
offenders. The Liberals, large numbers of whom 
knew her personally, found an especial difficulty in 
reconciling themselves to the idea that Richard 
Cobden's daughter should be thrown into prison and 
treated by a Liberal government as though she had 
been a drunkard or a pickpocket. Mr. Keir Hardie, 
Lord Robert Cecil and others, raised the matter in 
the House of Commons, and drew comparisons be- 
tween our lot and that of the Jameson raiders, Mr. 
W. T. Stead and others who had been imprisoned 
for political reasons. In reply to this, Mr. Glad- 
stone, the Home Secretary, began by saying that he 



had no power to take action. On October 28, 
however, Mrs. Pethick Lawrence left HoUoway 
owing to serious illness. On the following day, 
Mrs. Montefiore was also released for the same rea- 
son, and a day or two afterwards it became known 
that Mrs. How Martyn and Mrs. Baldock had been 
removed to the prison hospital. Protests against the 
treatment of the Suffragettes daily became more and 
more insistent, and at last, on October 31st, Mr. 
Herbert Gladstone changed his mind and ordered, * 
or as he put it, " intimated his desire '' that the Suff- 
rage prisoners should be transferred to the first class. 
On the eighth day of our imprisonment my cell 
door was flung open suddenly and the Matron an- 
nounced that an order had come from the Home 
Office to say that I was to be transferred to the 
first class. I was then hurriedly bustled out of my 
cell and a few minutes afterwards as, in charge of 
a wardress, I was staggering along the passage car- 
rying my brush and comb, the sheets that I was hem- 
ming, and all my bed linen, I met my comrades 
going in the same direction. 

1 Speaking at Leicester on January 30th, the Home Secre- 
tary, Mr. Herbert Gladstone, was proceeding to extoll the 
promptitude and care with which, he asserted, the Home Office 
inquired into alleged cases of miscarriage of justice, when he 
was interrupted by cries of protest from Annie Kenney and a 
band of other Suffragettes. Whilst they were being speedily 
ejected, Mr. Gladstone tried to curry favour with the audience 
by saying that he particularly regretted what had taken place 
because his action in regard to the Suffragettes had been to 
reduce the sentences passed upon them and to ameliorate their 
prison treatment. As we have seen the change was only made 
in response to an unmistakable public demand, and after Mr. 
Gladstone had begun by saying he had no power to effect it. 

NOVEMBER, '06, TO FEBRUARY, '07 125 

We were ushered into a row of rather dark cells 
adjoining each other in an old part of the prison, 
which is chiefly occupied by prisoners on remand who 
have not yet been tried. These women, we were 
horrified to And, are treated exactly like second class 
prisoners, except that their dress is blue instead of 
green, and that some to whom permission has been 
given are allowed to wear their own clothes, and 
to have food sent in to them at their own expense. 
We were now offered the same privileges, but these 
we declined. On consulting the prison rules, how- 
ever, I found that first class misdemeanants are en- 
titled to exercise their profession whilst in prison, 
if their doing so does not interfere with the ordinary 
prison regulations. I therefore applied to the Gov- 
ernor to be allowed to have pen, pencils, ink and 
paper, and after a day's waiting my request was 
granted. For me prison had now lost the worst of 
Its terrors because I had congenial work to do. 

We were now able to write and to receive a letter 
once a fortnight, and to have books and one news- 
paper a day sent in by our friends. The food served 
out to us was exactly like that of the second class 
except that instead of oatmeal gruel, a. pint of tea 
was substituted for breakfast and a pint of cocoa 
for supper. As the second class is that into which 
the majority of the Suffragettes have been relegated, 
it is useful to give the table of dinners here. 

Monday, 8 oz. haricot beans, i oz. fat bacon, 8 
oz. potatoes, 6 oz. bread. 

Tuesday, i pt. soup, 8 oz. potatoes, 6 oz. bread. 

Wednesday, 8 oz. suet pudding (exactly like 
that served in the third class), 6 oz. bread, 8 oz. 


Thursday, 6 oz. bread, 8 oz. potatoes, 3 oz. cooked 
meat — a kind of stew. 

Friday, Soup i pt., 6 oz bread, 8 oz. potatoes. 

Saturday, Suet pudding 8 oz., bread 6 oz., pota- 
toes 8 oz. 

Sunday, bread 6 oz., potatoes 8 oz., 3 oz. meat 
*' preserved by heat " i. e., some kind of preserved 
meat slightly warmed. 

The soups or meat for each prisoner was served 
in a cylindrical quart tin into the top of which, like 
a lid, was fitted another shallow tin holding the pota- 
toes. One did not clean these tins oneself as one did 
the other untensils, and probably because the kitchen 
attendants were overburdened with work, they were 
always exceedingly dingy and dirty-looking. Every- 
thing was as badly cooked and as uninviting as it could 
be. The cocoa, which was quite unlike any cocoa 
that I have ever tasted, had little pieces of meat and 
fat floating about in it. It was evidently made in 
the same vessel in which the meat was cooked. To 
cut up our meat, in addition to the wooden spoon, 
which is common to the second and third classes, we 
were now provided with " a knife." This knife was 
made of tin. It was about four inches in length and 
Mrs. Drummond later on aptly described it as be- 
ing ** hemmed " at the edge. There was no fork. 

On November 6th my sentence came to an end, 
and the newspaper representatives were all eager to 
hear from me what the inside of Holloway was like. 
I was thus able to make known exactly what the con- 
ditions of imprisonment had been both before and 
after our transfer to the first division and to show 
that even under the new conditions, the treatment of 
the Suffragettes was very much more rigorous than 

NOVEMBER, '06, TO FEBRUARY, '07 127 

that applied to men political prisoners in this and 
other countries. 

Next day, November 7th, Mr. Keir Hardie in- 
troduced a Women's Suffrage Bill into the House of 
Commons under " the ten minutes rule." It had 
only two chances of passing into law; the first that 
the Government should provide time for it and the 
second that not one single Member of Parliament 
should oppose it in any of its stages. The Govern- 
ment refused to give the time, and the second chance 
was destroyed by a Liberal Member, Mr. Julius 

On November 19th another demonstration was 
therefore held outside the House of Commons as 
a result of which Miss Alice Milne of Manchester 
was arrested, and imprisoned for one week. Public 
sympathy was still daily turning more and more to 
the side of the Suffragettes and when a by-election 
became necessary at Huddersfield, Mr. Herbert 
Gladstone decided to release Mrs. Cobden Sanderson 
and her colleagues, though they had served but half 
their sentences and, on November 24th they were 
set free after one month's imprisonment. They 
were not only welcomed with enthusiasm by their 
fellow militant Suffragettes, but a dinner was given 
in their honour by the older non-militant Suffragists 
at the Savoy Hotel. 

Believing that it was to the Huddersfield by-elec- 
tion that they owed their unexpected freedom, a 
number of the released prisoners at once hurried off 
to the constituency where Mrs. Pankhurst and a 
band of other women were strenuously working 
against the Government and had already become 
the most popular people in the election. 


Though the train by which the prisoners arrived 
was more than two hours late, they were welcomed 
at the station by cheering crowds, and found that a 
great meeting of women, which had been called for 
the due time of their arrival, was still patiently wait- 
ing to hear them speak. 

The three candidates. Liberal, Unionist and 
Labour were now, because of its extraordinary pop- 
ularity, all anxious to be known as supporters of 
Women's Suffrage and they went about wearing the 
white Votes fpr Women buttons of the W. S. P. U. 
Mr. Sherwell, the Liberal, tried to sidetrack the 
Suffragettes' appeal to the electors to vote against 
him because he was the nominee of the Government, 
by constantly announcing that he was in favour of 
Women's Suffrage, and that the Liberal Party was 
the best of all parties for women. The following 
handbill issued from his committee rooms: 


VOTE FOR sherwell:' 

Polling took place on November 28th, and when 
the votes were counted, it was found that the Liberal 
poll as recorded at the General Election had been 
reduced by 540. The figures were: — 

Arthur Sherwell (L.) 5,762 

T. R. Williams (Lab.) 5,422 

J. Foster Fraser (U.) 4,844 

Liberal Majority 340 

NOVEMBER, '06, TO FEBRUARY, '07 129 

At the General Election the figures had been: — 

Sir J. T. Woodhouse (Lib.) 6,302 

T. R. Williams (Lab.) 5,813 

J. Foster Fraser (U.) * 4,39i 


Liberal Majority 489 

Meanwhile the Government had been pushing on 
with its Bill for the abolition of plural voting, to 
which the Women's Social and Political Union had 
persistently claimed that a clause providing for the 
registration of qualified women voters should be 
added. When the Bill reached the Report stage 
on November 26th, Lord Robert Cecil moved and 
Mr. Keir Hardie seconded and Mr. Balfour sup- 
ported an amendment to postpone the operation of the 
Bill until after the next General Election, unless in 
the meantime the franchise had been given to women 
on the same terms as men. The object was, of 
course, to call attention to the need of Votes for 
Women, and this somewhat round-about way had 
been adopted because it was ruled out of order to 
simply suggest that votes for Women should be en- 
acted as a part of the Plural Voting Bill. The 
amendment was opposed by the Government, and 
defeated by 278 votes to 50. 

Our Manchester Members were now anxious to 
organise a protest on their own account and it was 
agreed that they should have their way. Accord- 
ingly, on December 13th, a valiant little army of 
some twenty or thirty North Country women came 
down to London and proceeded straight to Parlia- 
ment Square, carrying a small wooden packing 9ase 
which they set down in the gutter opposite the 


stranger's entrance. The box was mounted by Mrs. 
Jennie Baines of Stockport, a fragile little woman, 
who had begun her strenuous life as a Birmingham 
child home-worker, rising early in the morning in 
order to help her mother to stitch hooks and eyes 
on to cards before going to school, snatching a few 
moments for the same task in the dinner hour and 
on returning. home in the evening, working far into 
the night. In her girlhood she had been a Salvation 
Army '' Captain." Later she had married a jour- 
neyman bootmaker, and though, in addition to car- 
ing for her home and her children, she had been 
forced to toil in the factory, in order to keep the 
home together, she had still managed to work as a 
Police Court Missionary and Temperance and Social 

Therefore, it was with the knowledge born of 
much experience, that Mrs. Baines now pleaded for 
the enfranchisement of her sex. Within a few 
moments a strong force of police came hurrying up 
and she was roughly dragged down and hustled 
away. Her place was instantly taken by Mrs. 
Morrissey of Manchester, whilst the other women 
linked arms and pressed closely round to form a 
guard, but after a short hard struggle the police 
broke through, tore the speaker from the box, and 
made five arrests. One woman was thrown to the 
ground and lay unconscious, and Mrs. August Mac- 
Dougal, an Australian,^ knelt on the ground beside 
her, raised her head and held a cup of water to her 
lips. Then a heavy hand was laid upon Mrs. Mac- 
DougaPs shoulder and a rough voice ordered her to 

lA cultured literary woman, who, with her husband, had re- 
cently published two anthologies of music. 

NOVEMBER, '06, TO FEBRUARY, '07 131 

go, but she remained to attend to the injured woman. 
For this offence she was arrested, whilst Mrs. 
Knight, the woman who had been hurt, was removed 
to Westminster Hospital. 

Next day the five women who had been taken into 
custody were at Westminster Police Court each or- 
dered by Mr. Horace Smith either to pay a fine of 
twenty shillings or to go to prison for fourteen days, 
in the first class. They all chose the latter alterna- 
tive and were taken to the cells. Two days after- 
wards some of our members attempted to hold a 
meeting in the Strangers' Lobby. As a result of this 
eleven of them were sent off to join their comrades 
in gaol for fourteen days. 

Still the Government refused to withdraw their 
hostility to votes for women. Parliament remained 
apathetic, and still the majority of the general pub- 
lic were content to allow things to remain as they 
were. Therefore we felt that yet another protest 
must be made before the year 1906 should come to 
an end, and on December 20th, the eve of Parlia- 
ment's rising for the Christmas holidays, Mrs. Drum- 
mond, who had now settled in London, organised a 
third attack upon the House. Whilst her followers 
were attempting to speak in the Lobby, she succeeded 
in entering the House unobserved and in making her 
way by the back passages to within a few yards of 
the sacred chamber of debate itself. Here she was 
captured by the police, but she resisted their efforts 
to remove her with so much spirit that she won the 
sympathy and admiration of the constables; one of 
whom was heard to say, ** I wish the members of 
Parliament would come here and do their own dirty 
work ! " 


Next day as the evening-paper boys were eagerly 
crying the news that another five women were gone 
to join those already in prison and that twenty-one 
Suffragettes would now be spending Christmas there, 
Parliament rose for the holidays. As the Members 
left the House, comrades of the imprisoned women 
handed each one an envelope inscribed : — " What 
a woman really wants for a Christmas box," and 
within was a small slip of paper bearing the words, 
" A vote." 

For the first batch of Suffragettes to be released 
from prison in January, a Christmas dinner was pro- 
vided by Mr. and Mrs. Pethick Lawrence at the 
Holborn Restayrant, and for Mrs. Drummond and 
those of the Suffragettes who were set free later, the 
first of the public welcome breakfasts, which have 
since become an institution, was held at Anderton's 
Hotel. The released prisoners were able to tell us 
that Christmas day in HoUoway is, except that one 
goes twice to Chapel, exactly like all the other days 
of the year and that the Christmas dinner, of which 
so very much is thought outside, is just the usual one 
that would naturally fall at any other season to that 
particular day of the week. But as Mrs. Hillier on 
their release, said, they went to prison for " a cause 
that they held dear," and so, as Mrs. Martha Jones 
added, they regarded having gone there, " not as a 
sacrifice, but as an honour." What they had seen in 
HoUoway had more than ever convinced them of the 
pressing need that women should be enfranchised. 
"The stories that I have heard in the Prison 
hospital," said Mrs. Baines, ** have reached to the 
bottom of my heart. I have come out with the firm 
resolve to work on." 

NOVEMBER, '06, TO FEBRUARY, '07 133 

So the year 1906, the first year of the Union's 
work in London came to an end. In October, the 
step of opening a permanent central office had been 
decided upon and a large general office having a small 
private room opening out of it was taken in Clement's 
Inn, Strand. It seemed a big undertaking at first, 
but the offices were indispensable. The small room 
was considered chiefly as ChristabePs office, but all 
private business was transacted there, whilst the large 
room was used for general clerical work and as a 
meeting place. Weekly Monday afternoon and 
Thursday evening At Homes, were held there and 
all those who had joined the Union in those early 
days can remember Mrs. Sparborough making tea 
and handing round bread and butter and biscuits, and 
Christabel, with a sheaf of newspaper cuttings in her 
hand, standing up on one of the chairs to furnish 
the latest news of the militant campaign and to ex- 
plain the next move in the plan of action. 

On the following February 4th, Mr. Winston 
Churchill spoke in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 
and he bargained beforehand with the Suffragettes 
that they should not interrupt him during his speech, 
on condition that he would answer a question on 
Women's Suffrage before he left the platform. At 
the close of the meeting he accordingly did so by 
saying definitely that he would not vote for a Bill to 
enfranchise women on the same terms as men. He 
added that he greatly regretted that ** earnest, good- 
hearted women should pursue courses which brought 
them suffering and humiliation," but ** God forbid " 
that he should ** mock " them by concealing his opin- 
ion. My sister Adela then rose to ask if he had in- 
tended to speak for himself alone, or on behalf of 


the Government, an exceedingly important point. 
What followed is best described in the words of an 
eye witness who wrote at once to Christabel at Clem- 
ent's Inn : *' Last night's affair was terrible. It was 
a wonder someone was not killed. Your sister was 
thrown down and kicked by several men. The at- 
tack was really unprovoked; the stewards had made 
up fheir minds to do it before the meeting. Your 
sister has a black eye, Mrs. Chatterton's throat was 
hurt and Miss Gawthorpe would have been seriously 
handled but that some men came to her rescue." 

Many women who had long felt that there was 
" something wrong " with the position of their sex, 
but had not realised that the possession of the Parlia- 
mentary franchise could do anything to remove the 
disabilities both of law and custom from which they 
suffered, were now being awakened by the much- 
talked-of militant tactics to a knowledge of what the 
vote could do for them. Moreover, many who for 
years had been nominal adherents of the Suffrage 
movement, now began to feel that if some other 
women cared so passionately for the cause that they 
were prepared to throw aside all the usual conven- 
tions of good manners and to thrust themselves for- 
ward to meet ridicule, scandalous abuse, ill usage and 
imprisonment, it was surely time that they too should 
make sacrifices. Their hearts smote them that they 
had not done more for it in the past. But most of 
them as yet thought only of bolstering up and stirring 
to new activity the old National Union of Women's 
Suffrage Societies for they still looked upon the mili- 
tant women as a rather dreadful body of fanatics 
who could have no notion either of systematic or- 
ganisation or the prudent laying-out of money. 

NOVEMBER, '06, TO FEBRUARY, '07 135 

Therefore, though the W. S. P. U. was already 
growing largely, the N. U. W. S. S. was as yet bene- 
fiting most largely from its activities. But times had 
changed and even the most old-fashioned of the Suf- 
fragists were now ready to copy the first non-militant 
doings of the Suffragettes and, in order to prove that 
they really wanted the franchise, they too determined 
to march in procession through the London streets. 
Therefore on February 9th, 1907, three days before 
the opening of Parliament, a crowd of the non- 
militants assembled close to the Achilles statue at 
Hyde Park Comer. It was a dismal wet Saturday 
afternoon, but in spite of the rain and the muddy 
streets a procession of women half a mile in length 
was formed and marched steadily on to attend meet- 
ings in Exeter Hall in the Strand and in Trafalgar 
Square. This procession was afterwards known as 
the " Mud March." 

At the Exeter Hall the principal speakers who had 
been chosen to address the gathering of women were 
Mr. Keir Hardie and Mr. Israel Zangwill. Mr. 
Hardie devoted himself to urging the women to place 
the question of their enfranchisement before all other 
party considerations. Meanwhile a most extraor- 
dinary scene occurred, for, whilst his remarks were 
punctuated by volumes of cheers from the great body 
of the audience, a number of Liberal ladies on the 
platform set up a hissing chorus. 

When Mr. Zangwill came to speak, he, too, de- 
clared himself to be a supporter of the militant tac- 
tics and the anti-Government policy, and the same 
Liberal ladies, although they had themselves asked 
him to speak for them, expressed their dissent and 
disapproval as audibly as though they had been Suf- 


fragettes and he a Cabinet Minister. From Mr. 
Zangwill's brilliant speech — his maiden speech as a 
politician as he said it was — which has since been 
published under the title " One and One are Two," I 
can but quote an extract to conclude this chapter : 

What is it that prevents the Prime Minister bringing in 
a Bill for Female Suffrage at once, in this very Parliament 
that is opening? He is in favour of it himself, and so is 
the majority of the House. The bulk of the representa- 
tives of the people are pledged to it. Here, then, is a 
measure which both parties deem necessary. A sensible 
woman would think that the first thing a Parliament would 
do would be to pass those measures about which both par- 
ties agree. Simple female ! That is not man's way. That 
is not politics. What is wanted in Parliament is measures 
about which both parties disagree, and which, in conse- 
quence, can never be passed at all. I declare I know noth- 
ing outside Swift or W. S. Gilbert to equal the present 
situation of Women's Suffrage. • . . The majority 
have promised to vote for Women's Suffrage. But whom 
have they promised? Women. And women have no votes. 
Therefore the M.P.'s do not take them seriously. You see 
the vicious circle. In order for women to get votes they 
must have votes already. And so the men will bemock 
and befool them from session to session. Who can wonder 
if, tired of these gay deceivers, they begin to take the law 
into their own hands ? And public opinion — I warn the 
Government — public opinion is with the women. . . . 
They are unwomanly — and therein consists the martyrdom 
of the pioneers. They have to lower themselves to the 
manners of men; they have to be unwomanly in order to 
promote the cause of womanhood. They have to do the 
dirty work. Let those lady suffragists who sit by their 
cosey firesides at least give them admiration and encourage- 
ment. " Qui veut la fin, veut les moyens." And undoubt- 
edly the means are not the most ladylike. Ladylike means 

NOy EMBER, *o6, TO FEBRUARY, '07 137 

are all very well if you are dealing with gentlemen; but 
you are dealing with politicians. ... In politics only 
force counts, but how is a discredited minority to exercise 
force? . . . There is a little loophole. Every now 
and then the party in power has to venture outside its cita- 
del to contest a by-election. The ladies are waiting. The 
constituency becomes the arena of battle, and every Gov- 
ernment candidate, whether he is for female suffrage or not, 
is opposed tooth and nail. For every Government — Lib- 
eral or Conservative — that refuses to grant Female Suf- 
frage is ipso facto the enemy. The cause is to be greater 
than mere party. Damage the Government — that is the 
whole secret. Are these tactics sound? In my opinion, 
absolutely so. They are not only ladylike, they are con- 
stitutional. They are the only legitimate way in which 
woman can bring direct political pressure upon the Gov- 
ernment. . . . Far better than to put yourself in prison 
is to keep a man out of Parliament. . . . What Chris- 
tianity cannot do, what charity cannot do, what all the 
thunder of your Carlyles and your Ruskins cannot do, a. 
simple vote does. And so to these myriads of tired women 
who rise in the raw dawn and troop to their cheerless fac- 
tories, and who, when the twilight falls, return not to rest 
but to the labours of a squalid household, to these the 
thought of Women's Suffrage, which comes as a sneer to 
the man about town, comes as a hope and a prayer. Who 
dares leave that hope unillumined, that prayer unanswered? 
. . . For fifty years now woman has stood crying: " I 
stand for justice — answer, shall I have it ? " And the 
answer has been a mocking " no " or a still more mocking 
"yes." With this flabby friendliness, this policy of end- 
less evasion. To-day she cries: "I fight for justice and 
I answer that I shall have it." 



The First Woman's Parliament in the Caxton 
Hall and the Sending Out of the Mounted Po- 
lice TO Drive Away the Women's Deputation. 
Mr. Dickinson's Bill and the Second Women's 

And now again the thoughts of all the women 
who wanted votes were turning towards the opening 
of Parliament The old fashioned Suffragists had 
held their demonstration during the recess but that 
of the Suffragettes was istill to come and it had been 
announced that on February 13th, 1907, a Parlia- 
ment of women would sit in the Caxton Hall to 
consider the provision of the Kiilg's speech to be 
read in the Nation's Parliament on the previous day. 
It was but a year since Annie Kenney had set off to 
rouse London and since Mrs. Pankhurst had feared 
that we should neither fill the Caxton Hall nor in- 
duce a body of women to march for the sake of a vote 
through the London streets, but the tickets were now 
sold off so rapidly that the Exeter Hall in the Strand 
was also requisitioned, and we could now firmly rely 
on hundreds of women who were ready and eager, 
not merely to walk in procession, but if need be to 
risk imprisonment for the Cause. 

Parliament met on Tuesday the 1 2th, and we soon 
learnt that the King's speech had made no mention of 



Votes for Women. Therefore when the Women's 
Parliament met at three o'clock next day, it did so 
ready for decisive action. Mrs. Pankhurst was in 
the Chair, and throughout the proceedings there were 
manifestations of an enthusiasm such as the women 
of our time had before then never learnt to show. 
A Resolution expressive of indignation that Votes for 
Women had been omitted from the King's speech and 
calling upon the House of Commons to insist that 
precedence should be given to such a measure, was 
moved in stirring words and carried with every dem- 
onstration of fervent eagerness. A motion that the 
resolution should be taken to the Prime Minister by a 
deputation from the meeting was greeted with cheer- 
ing and waving of handkerchiefs. Then the watch- 
word, " Rise up women I " was sounded, and the an- 
swer came in a great unanimous shout, " Now," 
while hundreds of women volunteers ready for Par- 
liament or Prison sprang to their feet. 

Mrs. Despard was chosen to lead the deputation, 
and, as each woman marched out of the Caxton Hall, 
a copy of the Resolution for the Prime Minister was 
put into her hand. We formed up in orderly pro- 
cession, and, amid the cheers of the thousands of men 
and women who had gathered in sympathy, and with 
police walking in front of us, we marched into Vic- 
toria Street and on towards the House of Commons. 

It was cold but a shimmering dainty day, the sky 
a delicate rain-washed blue and the sunshine gleam- 
ing on the fine gilded points on the roof of the tall 
clock tower. We stepped out smartly and all seemed 
to be going well, but when those who were in front 
reached the green in front of the Abbey, a body of 
police barred their way and an Inspector called to 


them to turn back, and ordered his men to break up 
the procession. The police strode through and 
through our ranks, but the women at once united 
again and pressed bravely on. A little further we 
went thus, when suddenly, a body of mounted police 
came riding up. In an instant Mrs. Despard and 
several others in the front rank were arrested, and 
the troopers were urging their horses into the midst 
of the women behind, scattering them right and left. 

Still we strove to reach our destination, and re- 
turned again and again. Those of us who rushed 
from the roadway on to the pavement were pressed 
by the horses closer and closer against the walls and 
railings until at last we retreated or were forced away 
by the constables on foot. Those of us who took 
refuge in doorways were dragged roughly down the 
steps and hurled back in front of the horses. When 
even this failed to banish us, the foot constables 
rushed at us and, catching us fiercely by the shoulders, 
turned us round again and then seizing us by the 
back of the neck and thumping us cruelly between 
the shoulders forced us at a running pace along the 
streets until we were far from the House of Com- 
mons. They had been told to drive us away and 
to make as few arrests as possible. Still we re- 
turned again, until at last sixty-five women and two 
men, all of them bruised and dishevelled, had been 
taken to the police station, and those who had not 
been arrested were almost fainting from fatigue. 
Then, after ten o'clock, the police succeeded in clear- 
ing the approaches to the House of Commons, and 
the mounted men were left galloping about in the 
empty square till midnight, when the House rose. 

In spite of the fierce battle to keep them out. 


fifteen of the Suffragettes succeeded by strategy in 
making their way into the Strangers' Lobby of the 
House of Commons and at about six o'clock at- 
tempted to hold a meeting there. The police, of 
course, rushed to put them out and, in the confusion 
that ensued one of the women succeeded in getting 
past the barriers and making her way down the 
passage leading to the beautiful white inner lobby 
which opens into the sacred chamber of debate. She 
had just reached the first set of swing-doors when 
a Member of Parliament dashed up and slammed 
them against her with such force that she was thrown 
to the ground and carried out in a fainting condi- 

Members of Parliament could scarcely fail to have 
been impressed by the extraordinary scenes which 
had taken place, and when the adjournment of the 
House was moved that night a Unionist Member, 
Mr. Claud Hay, asked the Home Secretary whether 
it had been necessary to inconvenience its Members 
by surrounding Parliament with a body of police, 
both upon horse and foot, as great as though it had 
been a fortress instead of a deliberative assembly. 
It appeared to him, he said, that Mr. Gladstone 
was afraid of the women, but they were entitled 
to make a protest even if it were not agreeable to 
Members of Parliament, and there was no need to 
brow-beat them by using force. Mr. Gladstone re- 
plied that he had very little knowledge of what had 
been going on outside the House, but Mr. Claud 
Hay interrupted him with, ** Then you ought to 
have I " At that he hesitated and changed his tone, 
saying that it was the police who were responsible 
for keeping open the approaches to the House, that 


they had only done their duty, and that he hoped 
they would continue to do it in the same way. 

Next morning all the world was talking of the 
melee, and in the newspapers there were long ac- 
counts and startling headlines describing the scenes 
that had taken place. These were very much more 
favourable to the women than any which had been 
published hitherto, for, though the Press was still 
far from admitting the extreme urgency of the cause 
of Women's Suffrage, or the need for the militant 
tactics as a means of obtaining the Parliamentary 
vote, still a large section of both Press and public 
were unanimous in condemning the Government for 
the violent measures which it had employed to sup- 
press the women's deputation. Many compared the 
sending out of mounted police against a procession 
of unarmed women to the employment of Cossacks 
in Russia, and the Liberal Daily Chronicle pub- 
lished a cartoon called " The London Cossack " 
which showed a portly policeman riding off with a 
trophy of ladies' hats. 

At ten o'clock on Thursday morning, January 
14th, the fifty-seven women and the two men who 
had been arrested on the previous day appeared at 
the Westminster Police Court. The women were 
put in one of the side rooms, and then a band of 
policemen filed in and each one identified his pris- 
oner. For piost of the women this was a first visit 
to the police court, and, though many of them were 
severely bruised by the previous day's encounter, 
they were all determined to make the best of the 
experience and to dwell, as far as possible, upon the 
humorous side of the situation. Whilst the Suffra- 
gettes were ready to forgive, the constables seemed 


mostly anxious to forget the violence, and many of 
the men asked their captives to give them the round 
white ** Votes for Women " buttons which they were 
wearing as mementoes of the women's famous 
" raid " on the House of Commons. After waiting 
until the drunkards and pickpockets had been dis- 
posed of, the Suffragettes were taken into the Court 
one or two at a time. Christabel Pankhurst, as 
organiser of the Demonstration was, at her own re- 
quest^ the first to be placed in the dock. She ex- 
plained clearly that many of our members had suf- 
fered very seriously, but that the W. S. P. U. wished 
to fix the blame for what had occurred, not upon 
the police, but upon the Government that had dic- 
tated the use of these measures for clearing the 
women away. If the Government refused to take 
" the only just, simple and proper way out of the 
difficulty — that of giving women their undoubted 
right to vote," she said, ** the responsibility must be 
theirs, and if lives are lost in this campaign the 
Liberal Government will be directly responsible. 
One thing is certain; there can be no going back for 
us, and more will happen if we do not get justice." 
Mr. Curtis Bennett, the magistrate, here intervened, 
saying with what he evidently thought was unan- 
swerable firmness, that the women undoubtedly were 
responsible for all the trouble, that there were other 
means of obtaining votes; and that these disorderly 
scenes in the streets must be stopped. '* They can 
be stopped," she retorted, " but only in one way." 
He looked at her sternly, and '* twenty shillings or 
fourteen days," was his sole reply. Then she was 
hurried away, and, in an incredibly short space of 
time, fifty-four Suffr.agettes h^4 been tried and sen- 


tenced to undergo punishment varying from ten shil- 
lings or seven days' imprisonment to forty shillings 
or one month. Forty shillings or one month's 
imprisonment had also been imposed on a working 
man, Mr. Edward Croft, who had been arrested 
for trying to defend one of the women in Parlia- 
ment Square. All those who had been convicted 
refused to pay their fines and decided to go to prison, 
and. whilst Mr. Croft was removed to Pentonville, 
we Suffragettes were taken away in the van to Hollo- 
way Gaol. 

On arriving at the prison we found that, as was 
now the rule, most of our number were to be treated 
as first class misdemeanants, though some few, with- 
out any apparent reason were to be placed in the 
second division. Those of us who had been there 
some months before now found that several minor 
innovations had been introduced since our last visit 
to HoUoway. When we had originally been put in 
the first class, Mrs. Cobden Sanderson, who was a 
vegetarian, was daily served with the usual prison 
diet, and though she was obliged to leave the meat, 
no extra vegetables were allowed her, and she was 
obliged to exist on her potatoes and bread. Now a 
special dietary had been introduced for vegetarians, 
which consisted at this season of an alternation of 
carrots and onions, with occasional rather stale eggs 
as a substitute for meat, and milk, night and morn- 
ing, instead of cocoa and tea. Butter was some- 
times allowed by the doctor's special order. Now 
that so large a number of us occupied adjoining cells 
in one corwdor and were sent out to exercise to- 
gether apart from the other prisoners, the author- 
ities found it difficult to enforce the full rigour of 


the prison regime. They found it difficult to pre- 
vent our speaking to each other occasionally when 
we stood together in line waiting to be marched to 
exercise or chapel; they could scarcely stop the tap- 
ping out conversations on the cell walls which was 
carried on by neighbouring Suffragettes. Sometimes, 
when the wardresses were off duty, one of our num- 
ber would strike up a hymn or march to which words 
suitable to our movement had been adapted. The 
others would join in chorus; and when the officers 
came hurrying back it would be some moments be- 
fore silence could be restored. 

For one cause or another many of us were sent 
to the hospital, some being placed in a ward with 
some twenty or thirty other prisoners, others in 
separate hospital cells. 

With the exception of Mrs. Despard and myself 
all the Suffragettes were released at the end of the 
first fortnight, but our sentences did not expire until a 
week later. A procession had been organised to wel- 
come our comrades^ and a band had played for an 
hour outside the prison gates. It is difficult to de- 
scribe the effect upon ourselves which was created 
by the music. We knew that it was being played 
by our friends. We felt almost as though they 
were speaking to us^ and to hospital prisoners who 
are not even allowed to attend service in the chapel, 
the very sound of the music in that dreary place was 
extraordinarily impressive. It made one's pulses 
throb and filled one's eyes with tears. 

The poor ordinary prisoners were filled with ex- 
citement and delight and when we were out at exercise 
with them on the day before our release, woman after 
woman contrived to walk for a few moments, either 


before or after one or other of us in the line and 
to ask if we also would be met by a band. " How 
splendid for you ! " said one of the girls to me wist- 
fully. " I only wish I had friends to meet me. 
But I am glad for you." " We are looking forward 
to the band, but we shall be sorry to lose you," an- 
other said. 

Whilst so many of us had been in prison, a by- 
election had taken place in South Aberdeen, where 
Mrs. Pankhurst, at the head of the Suffragettes' 
forces, had vigorously opposed the Government can- 
didate whose majority had fallen by more than 4,000 

The figures were : — 

G. B. Esslemont (L.) 3,779 

R. McNeill (C.) 3,412 

F. Bramley ( Soc.) i,740 

At the General Election the figures had been : — 

J. Bryce (L.) 6,780 

W. G. Black .(U.) 2,332 


The Suffragists, too, had not been inactive, for 
Mrs. Henry Fawcett, and four of her colleagues, 
had written to the Prime Minister asking that they 
might be allowed to plead the cause of Woman's Suf- 
frage at the Bar of the House. They pointed out 
that in 1688, Anne, the widow of Edward Fitz 
Harris, who was executed for treason in 168 1, had 


been allowed to speak for herself and her children 
at the Bar, and that Mrs. Clarke, mistress of the 
Duke of York, had been summoned thither to give 
evidence in regard to the charges of corruption 
against the Duke. Nevertheless, Sir Henry Camp- 
bell-Bannerman refused to grant their request on 
the ground that there was no precedent for women 
to appear at the Bar of the House in support of a 

Meanwhile, since the so-called " Raid " on the 
House that had led to our imprisonment, candid 
friends had been constantly telling us that we had 
entirely alienated the sympathy of those who had 
hitherto supported the enfranchisement of women. 
Yet, even whilst the " Raid " had been in progress, 
a very much larger number of Parliamentary repre- 
sentatives were agreeing to give their places in the 
private Members' ballot to a Woman's Suffrage Bill 
than had ever done so before. When the result of 
the ballot became known, it was found, that for the 
first time in the history of the movement, the for- 
tunate member who had secured the coveted first 
place out of 670 was willing to devote it to intro- 
ducing a measure to give votes to women. It was a 
Liberal member, Mr. Dickinson, who had won the 
first place and had decided to introduce the Women's 
Enfranchisement Bill. The Anti-Suffragists at once 
began to work actively against the measure and the 
first Women's Anti-Suffrage Society that had ever 
been formed was inaugurated to oppose it. Two 
petitions against the Women's Enfranchisement Bill, 
one of them said to be signed by 21,000 and the 
other by 16,500 persons, were presented to Parlia- 
ment on March 5th and March 22nd. They were 


heralded by the jubilations of our opponents but 
when the petitions came to be examined they were 
rejected by the Petitions Committee of Parliament 
as " informal." This was because the separate sheets 
upon which the signatures had been written were not 
each headed by the prayer against the granting of 
Women's Suffrage, and there was consequently no 
evidence to prove that the signatories had known for 
what purpose their names were being collected. 
Afterward Mr. J. M. Robertson examined the 
Anti-Suffrage Petitions and reported that " whole 
batches of signatures had been written in by a single 
hand," that " the batch work began on the very first 
sheets," and that it appeared as though the petitions 
" had been got up wholesale in this fashion." Mr. 
J. H. Wilson, M.P., Chairman of the Parliamentary 
Committee on Public Petitions, afterwards stated in 
the House of Commons, that the names of whole 
families of persons had undoubtedly been written in 
by the same hand. But even had these petitions 
been so evidently authentic as to have been accepted 
by Parliament without question, they would still 
have been quite insignificant as compared with the 
great petitions and memorials in support of Votes 
for Women, which had been presented year after 
year since 1866. But the days in which women 
might have won or lost the Parliamentary vote by 
petitioning had long gone by, and all politically 
minded women knew this. 

For a Member of Parliament to declare him- 
self in open opposition to Votes for Women, ren- 
dered him extremely unpopular, many of the anti- 
Suffragists, especially of the Liberal Party, now 
pretended that their reason for objecting to Mr. 


Dickinson's Bill was that they did not consider it to 
be a democratic measure. They declared that it 
would " disfranchise married women " would give 
the vote to women of wealth and property only and 
would exclude all those who had to work for their 
own living. So emphatically was this statement 
made that it was difficult to convince many people 
that the measure in question was the old equal 
Women's Enfranchisement Bill, and that there was 
no intention of introducing some new-fangled, fancy 
franchise. Yet as a matter of fact, Mr. Dickinson's 
Bill contained only a slight alteration in the word- 
ing, though not in the sense, of the last clause of the 
original measure. Instead of the phrase " any law 
or usage to the contrary notwithstanding," which 
occurred in the original Bill and was intended to 
strike at the disability of coverture which affects 
married women, the words, " A woman shall not 
be disqualified by reason of marriage from being so 
registered and voting, notwithstanding any law or 
custom to the contrary," were substituted. 

On moving the Second Reading of the Bill, Mr. 
Dickinson dealt especially with the objections of 
those who declared that the measure was anti-demo- 
cratic. He stated, that in 1 904, the women electors 
in his constituency of North St. Pancras had num- 
bered 1,014. Of these women three per cent, had 
belonged to the wealthy upper class, thirty-seven per 
cent, to the middle class, and sixty per cent, to the 
working class; many of the latter being exceedingly 

When asked by the Secretary of the Local 
Women's Suffrage Society in his constituency of 
Dunfermline, whether he would support the second 


reading of the Bill, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman 
had replied, " I will with much pleasure give my sup- 
port to Mr. Dickinson's Bill when it comes before the 
House of Commons." Now that the moment for 
fulfiling his promise had arrived, however, the Prime 
Minister threw cold water upon the measure. *' I 
am not very warmly enamoured of it," he said, and 
after casting doubt upon the accuracy of Mr. Dick- 
inson's figures he added, that in his opinion, the 
Bill would merely " enfranchise a small minority of 
well-to-do women." Where the Prime Minister had 
led, the rank and file Anti-Suffragist Liberal Mem- 
bers of Parliament followed. Though they had 
neither facts nor figures of their own to quote in sup- 
port of their contention, and, in face of both of 
Mr. Dickinson's figures and Mr. Snowden's reminder 
that the I. L. P. census of 1904 had shown that 
eighty-two per cent, of the women on the Municipal 
Register belonged to the working classes, they still 
continued to assert that only " a handful of prop- 
ertied women " could obtain votes under this Bill. 
At the same time, although they themselves belonged 
almost exclusively to the middle and upper classes, 
they persistently stated their belief in the dangerous 
influence of the women who belonged to those same 

As the afternoon wore on attempts were made to 
move the closure of the debate in order that a vote 
on the Bill might be taken, but the Speaker refused 
to accept the resolution, and at five o'clock Mr. Rees, 
the Liberal Member for Montgomery Burghs talked 
the measure out after a five hours' debate. There 
was no protest from the Ladies' Gallery this time 
as the Suffragettes had all been rigorously excluded, 


but both Suffragettes and Suffragists combined in 
urging the Government to give another day for the 
discussion of the Bill. This they curtly refused, and 
though the Suffragettes had not agreed to accept 
the decision as final and intended to renew their 
demand until it was granted, Mr. Dickinson shortly 
afterwards withdrew his Bill in order to make way 
for a Women's Suffrage Resolution, a place for 
which had been obtained by Sir Charles M'Laren. 
No sooner had Mr. Dickinson's Bill been withdrawn 
and Sir Charles M'Laren's Resolution set down in 
its stead than it was blocked by a discreditable move 
on the part of a well known Anti-Suffragist, Mr. 
(afterwards Sir) Maurice Levy. Taking advan- 
tage of a rule of the House of Commons by which 
a Resolution cannot be proceeded with, if a Bill 
dealing with a similar subject has been introduced, 
this Liberal member now brought forward a Bill 
which he never intended to be discussed to give a 
vote to every adult man and woman. Therefore 
Sir Charles M'Laren's Resolution was thus entirely 
shelved. This was not by any means the first time 
that the trick had been used in the case of a Women's 
Suffrage motion, but the device was acknowledged to 
be an unjustifiable abuse of the Procedure rules. 
Mr. Levy refused even the Speaker's request to 
withdraw his dummy Bill. Protests were raised on 
all sides of the House, because it was realised that, 
if the practice of bringing in dummy Bills to pre- 
vent discussion were to become common, the right of 
private Members to introduce Resolutions would be 
entirely destroyed. A Resolution embodying this 
point of view was therefore agreed to, and Mr. 
Asquith promised that the Government would take 


action in the matter.^ Though the question wad 
raised again three months later, however, the prom- 
ise was never kept, and though the general feeling 
was that Mr* Levy had offended against the recog- 
nised etiquette of Parliament, it must be remem- 
bered, that, as the Standard put it " if the Govern- 
ment had chosen to exercise pressure Mr. Levy 
would have proved complaisant.'' ^ 

But after all this was only a Resolution, and, realis- 

^When Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, introduced a Resolu- 
tion dealing with the Veto of the House of Lords, three months 
afterwards. Lord Robert Cecil, introduced a Dummy Bill for the 
abolition of the House of Lords' Veto in order to prevent Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman's motion being discussed, and thus 
to teach the Anti-Suffragists that their own blocking tactics could 
be used against themselves. As Lord Robert Cecil came for- 
ward with his Bill, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, knowing 
what he was going to do, begged him not to introduce it, 
in order that the Government's Resolution might not be de- 
layed. If Lord Robert Cecil would not agree, the Prime Min- 
ister threatened to call a sitting of the House for the next 
Saturday — the day which had been fixed for the King's garden 
party — in order to pass a special motion to allow the Govern- 
ment's Resolution to be proceeded with. Still Lord Robert 
Cecil protested that the Government must draw up the pro- 
posed Standing Order or he would insist upon introducing his 
Bill and Mr. Balfour supported him saying, " You can cook 
up a land Bill in three days, yet you cannot draft a Standing 
Order in three months." In the end the Government again 
promised to make such action as Mr. Levy's impossible, and 
Lord Robert Cecil withdrew his Bill, but the promise has not 
yet been redeemed. 

2 So far from exercising pressure upon Mr. Levy, the Liberal 
Government shortly afterwards gave him a knighthood. The 
failure to carry out their pledge, which I have referred to in 
the previous note, clearly shows that the Government did not 
in any way disapprove of Mr. Levy's action and were anxious 
that the possibility of its being repeated should remain. 


ing that the Government, with practically all the time 
of Parliament at its disposal, could easily provide 
the few days necessary for carrying into Law a 
Woman's SuflErage measure, the Women's Social and 
Political Union were now preparing for further mil- 
itant action. 

On the day of the talking out of Mr. Dickin- 
son's Bill a meeting had been held by the Union 
in the Exeter Hall at which Mrs. Pethick Lawrence 
had called for subscriptions to inaugurate a 
£20,000 campaign fund, and over £1,400 had been 
sent up to the platform during the meeting. On 
March 20, 1907, the second Women's Parliament 
assembled in the Caxton Hall.^ This Parliament 
was specially characterised by the large numbers of 
delegates from the provinces, amongst whom was a 
contingent of Lancashire Cotton Operatives, led by 
Annie Kenney and wearing their clogs and shawls. 
As before, the decision to carry a resolution to the 
Prime Minister was heralded with an enthusiasm 
that was almost fiercely overwhelming. Then, when 
Christabel Pankhurst called out from the platform, 
"Who will lead the deputation?" Lady Harber- 
ton, for many years a Suffragist of the old school, 
eagerly answered " I," and at once hundreds of 
women sprang up to follow her. As soon as the 
deputation gained the street the police began to push 

1 Shortly after this Second Women*s Parliament, a proposal 
was raised that the Westminster City Council should prevent 
the Hall being let to the Women's Social and Political Union. 
The Chairman of the General Purposes Committee then stated 
that this course would be adopted if any damage were done to 
the hall itself. Up to the present time no further attempt has 
been made to prevent the holding of the Women's Parliament 
in the Hall. 


and hustle them, but though overwhelmingly out- 
numbered, they bravely strove hour after hour to 
carry out their purpose. Rigid lines of police drawn 
up across the approaches to the House prevented 
their even getting near to it, and though at one point 
a number of Lancashire mill hands drove up in a 
couple of waggonettes, and, being mistaken for sight- 
seers, succeeded in reaching the Strangers' Entrance, 
they were discovered and beaten back. 

Meanwhile Caxton Hall was kept open all the 
afternoon and on into the evening, and the disabled 
women were constantly returning thither. They 
brought with them the news that numbers of women 
had been arrested, and that though Lady Harber- 
ton had at last got into the House of Commons, her 
petition had been ignored. Christabel Pankhurst 
then advised any who might succeed in entering 
Parliament to take sterner measures, — to rush, if 
they could, into the sacred Chamber of debate itself, 
to seat themselves upon the Government bench 
and demand a hearing. " If possible," she cried, 
" seize the mace, and you will be the Cromwells of 
the twentieth century!" The women rushed back 
with renewed zeal. 

It was now dark, and, as the crowds grew denser 
and denser and the police turned on them more 
angrily, many Members of Parliament, including 
Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. Lloyd George, 
came out to watch the scene. Some showed distress 
at the way in which the women were being treated, 
but others regarded it as a joke. Many of the 
women were roughly handled and some were seri- 
ously hurt, but, speaking generally, the violence used 
against them was not so great as on the previous 


February 13th. It was said that no fewer than a 
thousand extra police were especially drafted into 
Parliament Square to guard the House of Commons. 

Amongst those who had been arrested were Dr. 
Mabel Hardy, Miss Naici Peters, a Norwegian 
painter and a friend of Ibsen. Miss Cemino Fol- 
liero, a portrait painter from Rome and Miss Con- 
stance Clyde, a well known Australian journalist and 

Next day when the women were brought up be- 
fore Mr. Horace Smith at the Westminster Police 
Court, Mr. Muskett, who appeared to prosecute on 
behalf of the police, protested that the Suffragettes 
had hitherto been treated with " the utmost indul- 
gence," and begged that they should in future be dealt 
with " as ordinary lawbreakers." Therefore the 
magistrate gave to most of the women exactly the 
same sentences — varying from twenty shillings or 
fourteen days to forty shillings or one month's impris- 
onment — that had been meted out to their comrades 
on the last occasion. Miss Patricia Woodlock and 
Mrs. Ada Chatterton, the former having only left 
HoUoway on the expiration of her previous month's 
imprisonment one week before, were, as " old offen- 
ders," sentenced to one month's imprisonment without 
the option of a fine. Mrs. Mary Leigh though this 
was her first arrest, also received a month's imprison- 
ment because, by hanging a Votes for Women ban- 
ner over the edge of the dock, she annoyed the magis- 
trate, who said that he did not think it " a decent 
thing to wave a flag in a court of justice." 

Thus as a result of two attempts within the short 
space of five weeks to carry Resolutions to the Prime 
Minister from meetings of women held in the Caxton 


Hall, one hundred and thirty women, who were 
agitating for an eminently just and absolutely 
simple reform, had been imprisoned. Even to the 
next generation this state of things will appear mon- 
strous, how much more so to those that are to fol- 
low in the dim future. 



MAY, 1907 

No sooner had the second Women's Parliament 
been concluded than Mrs. Pankhurst had hurried 
off by the night train to take command of the Suf- 
fragette forces against the Government at a by-elec- 
tion at Hexham in Northumberland, where the 
Liberal majority was reduced by more than a thou- 
sand votes. This election was scarcely over when 
it was followed, with scarcely a week's intermission, 
by no fewer than seven others, at six of which the 
Suffragettes were to the fore. 

From Hexham our militant army was transferred 
to Stepney and then to Rutland, the smallest English 

Writing at the beginning of the Rutland contest, 
the Daily News correspondent said: *' Each of the 
three parties (the third being the Women's Social 
and Political Union) opened its campaign with meet- 
ings In the Rutland Division to-night." Thus rec- 
ognised from the start as one of the three forces to 
be reckoned with in the Election, the W. S. P. U. 
kept its important position right through until the 
end. In every hamlet and village the women speak- 
ers were cordially received and their speeches were 
listened to with earnest attention and respect. After 
the meetings, men and women clustered round to ask 



questions and tell how, before the passing of the 
1884 Reform Act which had enfranchised the agri- 
cultural labourers, in the days when voters were 
scarce, widows and daughters whose fathers were 
dead, had been frequently turned out of their farms, 
not because they could not pay the rent, but because 
they could not vote. Even to-day the people said 
that a woman tenant was sometimes looked upon 
with disfavour on that account. Though the wages 
of the agricultural labourers in this district were ex- 
ceedingly low, there was hardly a single member 
of the audience who did not buy at least one badge 
or penny pamphlet, whilst the free leaflets were 
eagerly seized upon, and labourers would come hur- 
rying across the fields to the roadside in order to se- 
cure them. 

As the days went by the journeyings of the Suf- 
fragettes from meeting place to meeting place 
throughout the constituency became a sort of tri- 
umphal progress. We were cheerily hailed from 
afar by distant workers amongst the crops and by 
drivers of passing carts. Men, women and children 
ran to the cottage doors to see us pass, and every- 
where we were greeted with smiles and kindly words. 

Only in the towns, at Oakham, the capital, and 
at Uppingham, did we meet with any opposition, but 
here most of the working men were deeply anxious 
that the Liberal should be returned. Rightly or 
wrongly they believed in the Liberal Party, believed 
it to be the party of progress and the one that would 
stand by the poor man. Nevertheless the majority 
listened courteously to our arguments, and admit- 
ting at last that our policy was logical and right for 
us, although inconvenient to them. Many of the 


staunchest Liberals were even won over to go all 
the way with us and to help us to " keep the Liberal 

But, whilst the majority were thus willing to listen 
and anxious to understand, there was also a bitterly 
hostile element which was inflamed by an absolutely 
unreasoning spirit of party antagonism, and it was 
well known, and quite openly stated in Oakham, that 
a certain well-to-do Liberal was paying a gang of 
youths to shout down the Suffragettes at their nightly 
meetings In the market place. It is always found by 
those who take part In political warfare that the 
roughest and least civilised members of society are 
invariably opposed to the pioneer and the reformer 
and usually support the Government in power, to 
whatever party it may belong, just as they try to 
** back the winner " In a race. With the additional 
monetary incentive to create a disturbance, this ele- 
ment soon rendered our market place meetings un- 
pleasantly turbulent, with the result that the local 
police were kept busier than they had been for a 
generation, and reinforcements had to be sent in 
from Leicestershire In order to keep the peace. 
The tradesman from whom we hired the lorry 
that we used as a platform, now announced that he 
dared not let us have It In future because he had 
been warned, not only that the vehicle itself would 
be damaged, but that his windows would be broken 
and his shop looted. Not until we had tried with- 
out success every lorry owner in Oakham, did a man, 
who was storing a waggon for .a farmer living many 
miles outside the constituency, at last come to us and 
say that, if we would go to the barn In the field 
where it was kept and fetch it out for ourselves, we 


might have the use of this waggon on promising to 
make good any damage that might be done. We 
agreed to this and were able to hold our meetings 
right on until the end of the contest, though on the 
last two nights very little that we said could be 
heard, owing to the number of horns, bells and rat- 
tles that were loudly sounded by our opponents. 
After these stormy meetings the police and hosts of 
sympathisers always escorted us home to protect us 
from the rowdies. Just as we reached our door 
there was generally a little scuffle with a band of 
youths who waited there to pelt us with sand and 
gravel as we passed in. Once inside the house, the 
rest of the evening was always taken up with inter- 
viewing the host of previously unknown callers, who 
came to ask whether we had arrived home safely, 
to apologise for the roughs, to express sympathy 
with " Votes for Women," to buy literature, badges 
and buttons, or to ask us to inscribe our names in 
autograph albums. At Uppingham, the second 
largest town, the hostile element was smaller than 
at Oakham, but its methods were more dangerous^. 
Whilst Mary Gawthorpe was holding an open-air 
meeting there one evening, a crowd of noisy youths 
began to throw up peppermint " bull's eyes " and 
other hard-boiled sweets. ** Sweets to the sweet," 
said little Mary, smiling, and continued her argu- 
ment, but a pot-egg, thrown from the crowd behind, 
struck her on the head and she fell unconscious. She 
was carried away, but next day appeared again, 
like a true Suffragette, quite undaunted, and the in- 
cident and her plucky spirit, made her the heroine 
of the Election. Polling took place on June nth, 
and instead of the great increase in the Government 


vote that had been expected the Conservative majority 
was nearly doubled. The figures were : 

J. Gretton (C.) 2,213 

W, F, Lyon (L.) 1,362 


The figures at the General Election had been : 

H. G. Finch (C.) 2,047 

Harold Pearson (L.) 1*564 


The campaign in Rutland was not yet over, when 
Mrs. Pankhurst and part of our forces were obliged 
to go north to Jarrow, where there was a Govern- 
ment majority of nearly three thousand votes to pull 
down. The Conservatives, the Labour Party, the 
Irish Nationalists, and, of course, the Liberals them- 
selves had each put a candidate into the field, and 
every one of this bevy of candidates was " in favour " 
of Votes for Women. 

Whether the majority of these who came in con- 
tact with the Suffragettes during these by-Election 
Campaigns understood the workings of the Party ma- 
chinery, which controls the Government of our coun- 
try, well enough to realise that by voting against the 
Government they would help the Votes for Women 
cause may perhaps be doubted by some, though the 
Suffragettes were constantly receiving both written 
and verbal assurances from electors who declared 
that their votes had turned upon this question; but 
that the hearts of the people were stirred by the Suf- 
fragettes' appeal is absolutely sure. In the leafy 


lanes and tiny villages of Rutland great interest and 
sympathy had been evoked, but in smoky struggling 
Jarrow, with its coal mines, shipbuilding yards and 
engineering works, with its dingy slums where over- 
crowding and infant mortality are, in common with 
the rest of this district, more rife than in any other 
part of the country, the message of the Suffragettes 
came to the overburdened women as a wonderful ray 
of hope that had burst in upon the squalor of their 

On the first night of their arrival in Jarrow, Mrs. 
Pankhurst and Annie Kenney held the largest open- 
air meeting that had ever been seen in that town, 
and the numberless subsequent gatherings, whether 
for men and women, or for women only, which were 
held in halls. In open spaces, at work gates, and at 
the collieries, were, in every case, larger and more 
orderly than those held by any of the other parties. 
A systematic canvass was made of the women house- 
holders, who numbered more than one thousand, and 
a Committee of Local Women who had come for- 
ward with offers of help sprang almost spontaneously 
into being. 

Three days before the end of the contest It was 
suggested that a women's procession should march to 
the various polling booths, In order to remind the 
men to vote against the nominee of the Government 
that had refused to allow women to become voters 
too. The idea was eagerly caught up, banners were 
quickly made by voluntary helpers, the news was car- 
ried throughout the district, and on polling day great 
crowds of women came flocking to the Mechanics' 
Hall, where they were to assemble. They came 
early, but found that a well dressed mob of men 


and youths, wearing the Liberal Colours, had al- 
ready gathered to bar the doorway, and the women 
were literally obliged to fight their way both in and 
out of their own meeting. As soon as the procession 
had got fairly out into the main road, however, 
everything went well, for though at no time did the 
police put in an appearance, either to keep order or 
to clear the way for them, the women were protected 
from obstruction by the sympathy and good will of 
the populace. As they passed onward, greater and 
greater numbers joined their ranks until it seemed 
as though all the women of Jarrow were marching 
along the road. 

The men whom they met coming from the polling 
booths greeted them with cheers and cries of " We 
have voted for the women this time. We have 
kept the Liberal out." They spoke truly, for when 
the votes were counted, it was found that the Gov- 
ernment candidate was third on the list, and that 
the Liberal vote at the General Election had been 
reduced by more than half. The figures were : 

Pete Curran ( Lab. ) 4,698 

P. Rose Innes (C.) 3,930 

Spencer Leigh Hughes (L.) 3>474 

J. 0*Hanlon (N.) 2,124 

The figures at the General Election had been: 

Sir C. M. Palmer (L.) 8,047 

Pete Curran (Lab.) 5,093 

Before the Jarrow election was over came another 
in the Colne Valley, in Yorkshire, and here again an 
old Liberal stronghold was wrested from the Gov- 
ernment. After the declaration of the poll, Mr. 


Grayson, the successful candidate, publicly admitted 
that his return was largely due to the heavily dam- 
aging effect of the Suffragettes' attack upon his Lib- 
eral opponent. An article ^ on this election headed 
" Votes for Women, but Fair Play for Liberals," 
which appeared in the Liberal Tribune, condemning 
the anti-Government by-election policy of the Suf- 
fragettes, was an admission of the great influence 
which they had been able to exercise at this, and other 
recent by-elections. 

A more gracious tribute to the electioneering cap- 
abilities of the Suffragettes by the special correspond- 

1 If Mr. Stanley is the saint and Mr. Twyford the hero, the 
Suffragettes are the politicians of the Electioa ... I con- 
fess that until I had seen the Suffragette Ironsides at work I 
thought the Tariff Reform Ruperts unsurpassed. The organi- 
zation of the Suffragettes is as good as their political insight. 
They adopt the " fan *' formation. They usually have three or 
four local centres in a scattered constituency. The members of 
each group in each centre live together irrespective of class 
differences. It is a pleasure to see the fan opened, controlled 
and set by the controlling hand at the centre. Early in the 
morning while men are sleeping or at the Committee Rooms a 
group of women will walk up the street of their centre. . . . 
At the crossroads of each centre each single group becomes a 
fan itself. Each member takes a different road. Chalk in 
hand, each woman whilst, going to one meeting, makes the an- 
nouncement of another. The men usually hunt in couples. 
They do not care to face these hostile audiences single-handed, 
but each of these women, as often as not, tackles an audience 
alone. If combined hammering is necessary the central hand 
sends to the rescue. Their staying power, judging them by 
the standard of men, is extraordinary. By taking afternoon as 
well as evening meetings they have worked twice as hard as the 
men. They are up earlier, they retire just as late. Women 
against men, they are better speakers, more logical, better in- 
formed, better phrased, with a surer insight for the telling 


ent of the Morning Post appeared in that paper on 
August 1st, 1909, during the North West Stafford- 
shire by-election. 

The next Election was at Bury St. Edmunds in 
Suffolk. Here the Liberal vote was greatly reduced, 
and that of the Conservative more than doubled. 
The figures were : 

The Hon. W. Guinness (U.) i>63i 

W. B. Yates (L.) : 741 

Unionist majority 890 

The figures at the General Election had been : 

Capt. F. W. Harvey (U.) 1,481 

W. B. Yates (L.) 1,047 

Unionist Majority 434 

When, after the declaration of the poll, the suc- 
cessful candidate, the Hon. W. Guinness, appeared at 
the window of the Angel Hotel to thank his sup- 
porters and to speak to the people in the customary 
way, he asked, *' What has been the cause of this 
great and glorious victory ? " He was interrupted 
by cries of "Votes for Women 1 " and by "Three 
cheers for the Suffragettes 1 " vigorously given from 
the assembled crowd. " No doubt the ladies had 
something to do with it,'* he was constrained to agree. 
During this first year of by-election work since 
the anti-Government campaign had been started at 
Eye and Cockermouth in 1906, the Suffragette forces 
had grown very largely, and instead of the one or 
two workers who had gone to the first contests there 
were now upwards of thirty regular by-election cam- 


paigners, who could always be relied upon, at head- 
quarters. During each contest from sixteen to 
twenty meetings were held by the union each day. 
At all these gatherings collections were taken and 
admission was charged for many of the election 
meetings held in halls, though both practices were 
unexampled at Election times. A fine answer to the 
Liberal cry that they were fighting with " Tory 
Gold," and a striking proof of .the Suffragette speak- 
ers' popularity with the audiences were thus provided. 
At every contest in which the Suffragettes had fought 
hitherto, there had been a fall in the Government 
vote, which had been reduced at Cockermouth by 
1,446; at Huddersfield by 540; in North West 
Derbyshire by 1,021; in South Aberdeen by 3,001; 
at Hexham by 231; at Stepney by 503; at Rutland 
by 202; at Jarrow by 4,573; at Colne Valley by 
2,204; 1^ North West Staffordshire by 271, and at 
Bury St. Edmunds by 306 ; making in all a total loss 
of votes to the Government of 13,300. In spite of 
the denials of Party wire-pullers a part of this loss 
was certainly due to the Suffragettes. 

At some of the later election contests, beginning 
at Hexham, a new complication had been introduced. 
During all the years of its existence the old non-mili- 
tant National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies 
had held entirely aloof from all election warfare but, 
seeing that the Suffragettes during the first year of 
their anti-Government by-election campaigning had 
rapidly grown not only in surface popularity but in 
real influence with the electorate, the older Suffragists 
now came to the conclusion that they, too, must 
adopt a by-election policy. Unfortunately, however, 
the older Suffragists had not the courage to make 


common cause with the Suffragettes who had raised 
the question of Women's Suffrage from the position 
of a stale, old-fashioned joke to that of a living, 
moving force in practical politics. They decided, in- 
stead, not to oppose the Government, but to support 
any Parliamentary candidate who should declare him- 
self to be favourable to Woman Suffrage. If, as 
generally happened nowadays, all the candidates 
should claim to be favourable, the N. U. S. S. should 
either support the most favourable, or remain neu- 
tral. In the event of no candidate being favourable, 
a special Women's Suffrage candidate might be run. 
Thus, rather than boldly oppose a Government 
that had only too clearly shown that it would never 
give women the vote until it was forced to do so, 
these old-fashioned Suffragists preferred to ignore 
entirely the dominating principle of the politics of 
their own time, namely, government by party. They 
preferred to go on working for the return of a few 
more of the Private Members of Parliament who, 
though they already formed a majority of more than 
two-thirds of the House of Commons, had themselves, 
for the hundredth time, been proved to be incapable 
of doing anything to prevent the wrecking of a 
Women's Suffrage Bill, when, in that very March in 
which this futile election policy was decided upon, 
* Mr. Dickinson's Bill had been " talked out." 

It is always more difficult to carry out a weak pol- 
icy than a strong one, and the adoption of this par- 
ticular policy not only failed to advance the Suffrage 
cause, but also failed in one object for which it 
primarily was designed, namely, to prevent dissen- 
sion in the ranks of the National Union of Women's 
Suffrage Societies itself. Many members at once se- 


ceded and joined the Women's Social and Political 
Union, and many of those who did not actually re- 
sign their membership of the old society now threw 
all their energy into working for the younger, more 
active and courageous body. On the other hand, 
there were still those Liberal women who cared more 
for party than for principle to be reckoned with, 
and one of these. Lady Carlisle, resigned the Vice 
Presidentship of the N. U. W. S. S., which she had 
accepted but a few days before the new by-election 
policy had been announced, because, in her party- 
ridden opinion, to oppose a Liberal candidate who 
was opposed to their enfranchisement, seemed too 
" drastic " and '* extreme " a course for women to 

When the by-election policy of the N. U. W. S. S. 
came to be put into practice its unworkable charac- 
ter was immediately demonstrated. The candidates 
at Hexham were interviewed, with the result that the 
Unionist, Colonel Bates, returned what was consid- 
ered to be a favourable answer, whilst the reply of 
Mr. R. D. Holt, the Liberal, was said to be un- 
satisfactory. The National Union of Women's Suf- 
frage Societies was therefore, according to the newly 
framed policy, obliged to support the Conservative 
candidate, but, when they proceeded to do so, many 
of the Liberal members of the organisation objected, 
and some even went so far as to work for the Lib- 
eral candidate in opposition to their Secretary, Miss 
Edith Palliser, and the rest of the Society. To 
make matters even more embarrassing for those who 
were endeavouring to carry out the policy the Lib- 
eral candidate now veered round a point or two — 
as candidates so often will — and stated that he had 


always been in favour of women's enfranchisement 
and that his only fear was that women were not 
asking for their votes upon a sufficiently democratic 
basis. He was therefore proclaimed by his support- 
ers to be a staunch and devoted friend of the 
Women's Suffrage Cause. 

Meanwhile the Suffragettes foresaw very clearly 
that this new policy which would sometimes cause 
the Suffragists to support the Government candidate 
whom they themselves were strenuously working 
against would confuse the electors and increase the 
difficulty of explaining the anti-Government policy, 
and, though the anti-Government policy was a very 
simple one, even simple things are difficult to explain 
when hosts of people are striving to misrepresent 

In May, the National Union of Suffrage Societies 
decided to run a Parliamentary candidate of 
their own, at a by-election in Wimbledon, and had 
chosen as their nominee a well known Liberal, the 
Hon. Bertrand Russell. The crushing defeat which 
resulted has unfortunately been quoted as a proof 
that the majority of the Parliamentary voters in that 
constituency were opposed to the principle of 
women's enfranchisement, but an impartial examina- 
tion into the facts shows clearly that they do not in 
any way justify this conclusion. 

The Wimbledon seat had always been held by the 
Conservatives, and their majority at the General 
Election, in spite of the then great Liberal revival, 
had numbered more than 2,000 votes. Now, with 
the well known and typical old Conservative, Mr. 
Henry Chaplin, in the field, the Liberal Party con- 
sidered it wisest not to fight. Therefore, but 


for the intervention of the National Union of 
Suffage Societies, who opposed him because of 
his anti-Suffragist views, Mr. Chaplin would have 
been returned without a contest. Opinions may rea- 
sonably be divided as to whether the game of run- 
ning Parliamentary candidates would possibly be 
worth the candle to a Women's Suffrage Society, but 
everyone will surely agree that if Suffrage candidates 
were to be run at all, the chief object of the Suffra- 
gists ought to have been to efface as far as possible 
all other points of political difference between the 
rival candidates in order that upon the question of 
Votes for Women, and upon that question alone, the 
electors might have decided how to vote. To en- 
sure that the single issue should predominate, it 
might have been well to choose as the Suffragist 
nominee a candidate whose views upon general 
political questions were, either similar to those of his 
anti-Suffrage opponent, or altogether colourless and 
obscure. In any case it was essential that the Suf- 
fragist candidate should be willing to subordinate all 
his other political opinions and to concentrate his 
attention absolutely upon the question of Votes for 
Women. In this Election, however, though it was 
well known that Liberalism was unpopular, the Suf- 
fragists chose to represent them a strong Liberal 
who was determined to make the election contest an 
opportunity for propagating his Liberal principles. 
That Mr. Bertrand Russell cared very much more 
for Liberalism than he did for Women's Votes was 
at once apparent. With the news that he had con- 
sented to stand as the Suffrage candidate came the 
announcement that he would not in any circum- 


stances have agreed to do so had an official Liberal 
been nominated, and he showed clearly that he had 
no intention of standing out against the wishes of 
his party leaders in order to press forward the 
Women's Cause. Right from the outset the record 
of the Liberal Government, and the general princi- 
ples of Liberalism were the points constantly put 
before the electors, and it was upon these points that 
the Election was really fought. Mr. Russell's Elec- 
tion Address, which was in fact the manifesto of 
the Suffragists, advocated Free Trade, the Taxation 
of Land Values and other questions quite uncon- 
nected with their cause. In his last message to the 
electors he said: 

I ask for the Liberal vote because I am a Liberal through 
and through. I am just as much a Liberal as dozens of the 
Ministerialists in the House of Commons, who are as keen 
as ever I can be upon the Women's Suffrage question. To 
those who waver about giving me their vote because they 
have doubts on the. women's question, I would ask, " Do you 
prefer Mr. Chaplin, the protectionist and crusted Tory, to 
one who is at least a Free Trader and Progressive? " Such 
persons should remember that every vote not given to me is 
given to my opponent! 

The Conservatives eagerly seized the opportunity 
of fighting Mr. Russell on the ground of his Liber- 
alism and scouted the idea of his being considered a 
Women's Suffrage candidate. At the same time the 
Liberals dissociated themselves from his candidature. 
It was no great matter for surprise, therefore, that 
Mr. Russell was defeated by more than 6,000 votes. 
The figures were: 


H. Chaplin (U.) 10,263 

B. Russell (L.) 3,299 


The figures at the General Election had been: 

C. E. Hambro (U.) 9,5^3 

Mr. Lane Fox Pitt (L.) 7,409 


It is interesting to note that In the six elections which 
had taken place since 1885 the Liberals had only 
thought it worth their while to contest the seat on 
three occasions, and on one of these the Liberal vote 
had fallen below that recorded for Mr. Bertrand 

Perhaps the most unfortunate feature of the con- 
test was that those of the Suffragist women who 
genuinely wished to further the interests of the 
women's cause without respect to party, instead of 
taking command of the situation, leading their can- 
didate aright, and showing that they were deter- 
mined that Woman Suffrage should be the only 
feature of the election, allowed the contest to be 
dominated by Mr. Russell and his Liberal opinions. 
Herein lay the great point of difference between the 
Suffragists and the Suffragettes. The Suffragists 
were ever prone to look upon their cause as a side 
issue and to apologise for any impatient attempt to 
press it to the front. The Suffragettes, on the other 
hand, were ready to stake their all upon it and con- 
stantly proclaimed it to be the highest and greatest 
in the world. 





In spite of its unprecedented growth the Women's 
Social and Political Union was now approaching a 
very difficult crisis in its history; little by little, dif- 
ferences of opinion in regard to questions of organi- 
sation and policy had begun to show themselves 
amongst the members of its governing body and 
finally, in September, 1907, a reconstruction of the 
Committee and Constitution of the Union took place. 
Now, although every one of the original founders 
of the Union remained, a number of those who had 
for some time belonged to the Central Committee 
left to form a new militant society called the 
Women's Freedom League which opened offices at 
18 Buckingham Street, Strand,^ and of which Mrs. 
Despard became Honorary Treasurer, Mrs. Billing- 
ton Grieg, Honorary Organiser, and Mrs. Edith 
How Martyn, Honorary Secretary. At the same 
time a reconstruction of the organising basis of the 
Women's Social and Political Union itself was ef- 
fected, and it became obligatory for all members of 
the Union to sign the following pledge : 

I endorse the objects and methods of the Women's Social 
and Political Union and hereby undertake not to support 

1 They afterwards moved to Robert Street, Strand. 



the candidate of any political party at Parliamentary elec- 
tions until women have obtained the Parliamentary vote. 

All the prominent members of the W. S. P. U. 
who had not already done so now formally severed 
their connexion with the political parties to which 
they had at one time belonged. During the past 
year a useful little weekly paper entitled fVomen's 
Franchise had been started by Mr. and Mrs. 
Francis as the joint organ of the various Suffrage 
Societies, and in the month of October, 1907, Fotes 
for Women, the organ of the Women's Social and 
Political Union, was first issued as a monthy paper, 
by Mr. and Mrs. Pethick Lawrence. Our members 
at once volunteered to sell it in the streets, and were 
soon turning themselves into sandwich women and 
parading about with its contents bills slung from 
their shoulders, riding on horseback through Picca- 
dilly with its posters hanging from the saddle, sell- 
ing it from decorated busses and carriages, can- 
vassing for subscribers and advertisers for it and 
evolving a hundred and one devices to increase its 
sale. As a result of these efforts both its size and 
circulation increased rapidly. In May, 1908, it be- 
came a penny weekly paper, and in the beginning of 
the year 1909 its circulation had risen to between 
30,000 and 50,000 copies weekly, and it was handed 
over by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence to the Union itself 
as a paying concern. 

On October 5th a Woman's Suffrage procession 
was organised in Edinburgh by the Militant and 
Non-Militant Women's Suffragist Societies, and 
some four thousand women from all parts of Scot- 
land assembled under the shadow of Arthur's Seat 


and, cheered by upwards of a hundred thousand peo- 
ple who had gathered to see them, marched thence 
to the Synod Hall, where there was held a crowded 
demonstration which overflowed into the Pillar 

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman was in Edin- 
burgh at the time, and was asked to receive a depu- 
tation from the processionists, but, though this was 
backed by many influential Scotswomen, he refused. 
When on October 22nd, he spoke at Dunfermline, in 
his own constituency, the Premier was obliged, as 
Scotch " heckling " is a recognised institution, to re- 
ply to the questioning of women as well as of men. 
He was asked: " As the Prime Minister believes in 
Women's Suffrage, would he suggest some fresh 
methods which we could adopt in order to gain our 

He replied: " I think women ought to go on agi- 
tating, holding meetings and pestering as much as 
they can, as all other men and women who are in- 
terested in public questions have to do." Whatever 
this piece of advice may have been intended to sug- 
gest, it certainly sounded very much like a justifica- 
tion of the policy of ** pestering " members of the 
Government at their meetings. 

For six months the Suffragettes had devoted them- 
selves to strengthening and extending their organisa- 
tion, electioneering, the distribution of literature 
and the holding of propaganda meetings of which, 
between May and October, some 3,000 had taken 
place, including a demonstration in Boggart Hole 
Clough, Manchester, attended by 15,000 people, an- 
other in Stevenson Square, Manchester, attended 
by 20,000 people, and meetings in Hyde Park each 


Sunday at many of which the audiences had num- 
bered upwards of 12,000. Nevertheless the ques- 
tion of Votes for Women, which had bulked so 
largely in the papers whilst the militant tactics had 
been in full swing, had almost entirely disappeared 
from the Press during these latter months and any- 
one who judged from the newspapers alone might 
well have imagined that the agitation had died 
down. This fact, together with the Government's 
continued refusal even to consider the question of 
granting Votes to Women, was enough, without the 
Prime Minister's curiously provocative statement, to 
convince the Suffragettes that the- time had come to 
recommence an active militant campaign, and from 
this time onward a Cabinet Minister's Meeting was 
invaded on almost every day until Parliament met 
in the new year. Again and again members of our 
Union, with a courage and perseverance which too 
few people have ever recognised, presented them- 
selves at these meetings, and, having asked their 
question or made their protest, were rudely set upon 
by crowds of stewards and flung fiercely and violently 
out into the street. 

Many outsiders preferred to look upon the women 
who faced this violence as being harder and less sen- 
' sitive or as differing in some other way from the rest 
of their sex, but this was not by any means the case. 
Many of those who bore the worst brunt of the 
battle were women who had hitherto taken no part 
in politics, and had always led quiet and sheltered 
lives. Others had had to fight hard for their liveli- 
hood. Indeed they were of all ages and of all classes. 
Week by week greater numbers of them were join- 


ing the Union and coming forward to take a part in 
this work; but young and old, rich and poor, were 
treated in the same way. Meanwhile Cabinet Min- 
isters either expressed surprised and horrified dis- 
approval of their behaviour or sought instead to 
cover them with ridicule. Mr. Sidney Buxton, at 
his meeting at Poplar on October 12th cynically 
called to his women questioners, whom the stewards 
were maltreating, to " behave decorously like men." 
That old self-styled " friend " of Women's Suffrage, 
Mr. Haldane, addressing a meeting of women 
Liberals in Glasgow * on January 8, 1908, devoted 
the greater part of his speech to condemning the 
Suffragettes, saying that men did not like to be 
fought with " pin pricks," and that, though women 
might " wage war," he should advise them " not to 
do It with bodkins." At a meeting in his own con- 
stituency, shortly afterwards, he insisted that the 
women who interrupted him should be ejected by the 
police, and when finally, with bruised and aching 
limbs and torn and dishevelled clothing, they had 
all been thrown out of the hall, he treated the whole 
matter as a joke saying that he was *' bachelor-proof 
against these belles." Mr. Asquith, like the Prime 
Minister, was forced to reply to a question put to 
him in his own Scotch constituency, at Tayport, on 
October 29th. There he said that, if the vote were 
granted to women it would do " more harm than 
good," and that in any case, the House of Com- 
mons is not elected on a basis of Universal Suffrage, 
for " children are not represented there." At sev- 
eral meetings, notably those of Mr. Asquith at 

Nuneaton on November i6th, and of Mn Winston 


Churchill in the historic Free Trade Hall, the 
stewards behaved with so much brutality that the 
police intervened to protect the women. 

But though at these gatherings of Liberal parti- 
sans the women were usually flung outside without 
delay, there were still some occasions on which the 
audience rallied round them. Incidents of this 
kind occurred when Mr. Herbert Gladstone, now 
frequently nick-named " the prison Secretary,'* spoke 
in his constituency in Leeds on November 2ist and 
22nd. On the first night the audience prevented 
the ejection of women questioners, and on the second 
Mr. Gladstone was howled down by both men and 
women, and next morning the papers stated in 
startling headlines that the Home Secretary had been 
" put to flight." Mr. Lewis Harcourt, the first 
Commissioner of Works, had a similar experience 
in his constituency, the Rossendale Valley, on October 
28th. During the day he declared to a deputation of 
women that he was opposed to their cause " because 
he was." At his evening meeting women protested 
again so vigorously and in such numbers that it was 
broken up, and his departing audience flocked to hear 
Mrs. Pankhurst, who was speaking from a waggon 
outside the hall. On November 22nd Mr. Lloyd 
George stated to a deputation of the Members of 
the old non-Militant Glasgow and West of Scot- 
land Association for Women's Suffrage that votes 
could not be granted to women until the subject of 
their enfranchisement had been made a test ques- 
tion at a General Election, and disposed of the con- 
tention that this had already been done, because over 
four hundred Members of Parliament out of 670 re- 
turned at the last General Election had been pledged 


to support Women's Suffrage, by saying that these 
pledges did not count because they had not been 
made to constituents. As unenfranchised women 
were no man's constituents, Mr. Lloyd George, there- 
fore, evidently saw no harm in the breaking of 
promises that had been made to them, and he gave 
no indication as to how, whilst neither political party 
was prepared to put votes for women upon its 
programme, women were to make their franchise a 
test question at election times, except either by ob- 
taining pledges from individual members or by at- 
tacking the Government in power as the Suffragettes 
were doing. He yet went on to say that he should 
oppose " very strenuously any legislation that ex- 
cluded any class of women from its scope, and any 
measure to enfranchise women that would not give 
to the working man's wife as much voice in the mak- 
ing of the laws of the country as her husband pos- 
sessed." This meant, of course, that Mr.. Lloyd 
George would " strenuously oppose " the Women's 
Enfranchisement Bill to give women the vote on the 
same terms as those upon which it had already been 
or might in the future be granted to men, but he did 
not seem to realise that if he meant what he said and 
wished to act with honesty, fairness and consistency 
towards this great question, he ought strenuously to 
oppose the s^tatus quo, which not only refused a 
voice in the making of the laws which governed her 
to the wife of the working man but to every other 
woman beside. 

On December 19th a strange drama was played 
out in Aberdeen. The Liberal officials of the town, 
had succeeded in inducing the Suffragettes to prom- 
ise not to interrupt Mr. Asquith, if he would an- 


swer the question of one woman, and they had 
begged Mrs. Black, the President of the local 
Women's Liberal Federation, to be ^ the woman. 
Mrs. Black had agreed " in the-interests of peace," 
as she said. When she rose up to comply with the 
Liberal official's request, however, she was howled 
at by their enthusiastic followers in the audience, 
threatened by the stewards of the meeting, and told 
by the chairman that she was " out of order," al- 
most as though she had been a real SuflEragette. 
Though at last she succeeded in putting her ques- 
tion, Mr. Asquith replied in snappish and hostile 
manner. Mr. Alexander Webster, a Unitarian 
Minister and well known citizen of Aberdeen, a 
slender, elderly figure, with long grey hair and the 
face of a saint, was afterwards violently handled 
for trying to move a women's suffrage rider to the 
official resolution. Finally Mrs. Pankhurst, who 
was seated at the back of the hall, rose to explain 
the situation to the curious and excited audience, and 
was immediately thrown out of the hall. Then the 
meeting broke up in disorder. As the Aberdeen 
Free Press put it, " Many a Liberal left the meet- 
ing with the uneasy feeling that the Suffragettes had 
had the best of it." Nevertheless the Suffragettes 
were loudly censured for these incidents especially 
by those who had consistently boycotted the Suf- 
frage question when women had worked quietly for 
it in the old days. In reply to the critics Dr. George 
Cooper, an honest Radical and Member of Parlia- 
ment for Bermondsey, in the course of a letter to 
the Daily News said: 

My political life began as a member of the Reform League. 
It is within my recollection that in 1867 and also in 1884 


very few public speakers who were opposed to the extension 
of the Parliamentary franchise to men, whether members of 
the Cabinet or otherwise, could utter a single word at a 
public meeting. Meetings were broken up, platforms 
stormed and their occupants had to escape the best way they 
could. In 1884 every Tory speaker used against the exten- 
sion of the franchise the same arguments now used by some 
Liberal speakers and newspapers against the extension of the 
Parliamentary franchise to women, . • . Why should 
women be condemned for using the same weapons men 
found so useful when demanding the vote for themselves? 
. . . Cabinet Ministers do not recognise antagonists using 
any other. There is one fact which cannot be denied. The 
activity of the Suffragettes has lifted the Women's franchise 
Bill out of the category of amusing and frivolous debate into 
that of a serious political question. 

Meanwhile the Suffragettes were fighting at twp 
more by-elections. The first of these was at Hull, 
where polling took place on November 29th, the 
result being that the Liberal vote was reduced from 
8,652 to 5,623, and the Liberal majority from 2,247 
to 241. The second of these contests, one of the 
most striking at which the W. S. P. U. has ever 
fought, was at Mid-Devon. In each of the seven 
elections that had occurred in this constituency since 
its creation in 1885 a Liberal candidate had been 
returned, the majority on the last occasion having 
numbered 1,289 votes. The Suffragettes at once 
opened Committee Rooms in the main street of 
Newton Abbott, the principal town in the division, 
and published a manifesto calling upon every elector 
who wished to see fair play for women to vote 
against the Liberal candidate, and concluding " We 
want votes for women this year. Defeat the Gov- 


ernment In Mid-Devon as a message that women are 
to have votes in 1908." 

The contest was a very trying one for the work- 
ers, for, in addition to the extensive area covered by 
the constituency, it took place in a season of heavy 
snow falls and bitter winds which came driving in 
from the sea. , Besides this there was a most tur- 
bulent variety of human nature to contend with. 
The Mid-Devon Elections had always been notori- 
ous for their violent character and the roughs of 
Newton Abbott had long been a byword in the dis- 
trict. Early in the campaign the speakers represent- 
ing both candidates were frequently howled down 
and were unable to continue their meetings, and, 
though on the whole we fared very much better, 
we ourselves had some similar experiences. On one 
occasion some of the Conservatives had arranged to 
speak at a place called Bovey Tracey, but they fled 
away* on being told that the Liberals of the town 
were not only preparing to break up the meetings 
of their opponents but had even built a cage in 
which to imprison them. On the same day three 
young members of our Union had also appeared in 
Bovey Tracey. They too were warned of the ter- 
rible cage, but decided to hold their meetings in spite 
of it. All went well and they were told by the men 
who met to hear them that they had no desire to 
injure those who trusted them, and that the cage 
had only been built for cowards. On one occasion 
it happened that Mr. Buxton, the Liberal candidate, 
and the Suffragettes held simultaneous school-room 
meetings in the same village. The Liberal meetings 
had been advertised several days beforehand, but 
though ours was arranged on the spur of the moment, 


all the people came to our meeting and not a single 
person turned up to hear him. 

As time went on the state of the district became 
more and more turbulent and the great party news- 
papers, the London Tribune, Daily News, and others, 
sought to stir up the wildest and most unrestrained 
element in the constituency. The Daily News 
hailed with enthusiasm the formation of what was 
known as the ** League of Young Liberals," which 
was in reality a gang of young roughs whose first 
act was to push a policeman through the plate glass 
window of the shop which served as our Committee 
Rooms. This and other violent acts were described 
by the Daily News as ** diverting incidents with the 
Suffragettes," but the special correspondent of the 
Daily Mail, said: 

Miss Mary Gawthorpe, who usually has no difficulty in 
maintaining good-humoured relations with audiences of every 
class, was not only compelled to hear language from some of 
the Newton Abbot Liberal partisans that brought a flush 
to her face and tears into her eyes, but had to resist by 
force the efforts of one man to mount the waggon from which 
she and several other ladies were speaking. And the most 
pitiful part of the business was that the language and the 
conduct seemed to be regarded by their perpetrators as en- 
gaging little gallantries, appropriate to be offered to a lady. 

A few days later the roughs dragged the lorry in 

which our women were speaking round and round 
with such violence that it was feared that it would 
be overturned, and they only stopped when a little 
boy had been run over and trampled upon and seri- 
ously injured. Still the Liberal politicians made 
no protest. Mr. Buxton's reply to a newspaper cor- 


respondent who asked him what he thought of the 
disorder was : " You must remember that they are 
keen politicians down here. From the fact that 
Mid-Devon has had three elections within the space 
of four years the people have necessarily heard a 
great deal about politics." 

So the contest went on — Liberals and Conserv- 
atives smashing up each other's meetings, howling 
each other down, pelting each other with vegetables 
from the market and snowballing each other on Dart- 
moor. The Daily Telegraph for January loth, 
writing in regard to a Liberal meeting, threatened 
that, if the Unionists were not admitted, the building 
would be stormed. 

When on January 17th the poll was declared it 
was found that the Liberal candidate had been de- 
feated. Everyone was surprised except the Suffra- 
gettes. The figures were : 

Captain Morrison Bell (U.) 5,191 

Mr. C. R. Buxton (L.) 4,632 

Unionist majority 559 

At the General Election the figures had been : 

Mr. H. T. Eve, K.C. (L.) 5,079 

Captain Morrison Bell (U.) 3,790 

Liberal Majority 1,280 

After the declaration of the poll Mrs. Pankhurst 
and Mrs. Martel, the only members of the Suffra- 
gette band left in the storm centre of Newton Abbott, 
saw Captain Morrison Bell escorted from the 
Market Square by a strong force of police, and were 


themselves urged to hurry away and leave the town 
at once. The warning seemed to them absurd, and 
Mrs. Pankhurst laughingly said that she had never 
yet been afraid to trust herself in a crowd. Im- 
mediately afterwards she and her companion met a 
procession of young men and boys wearing the Lib- 
eral colours, who were hurrying from their work in 
the clay pits. As soon as they heard that the Liberal 
had been defeated, one of them pointed to Mrs. 
Pankhurst and Mrs. Martel: "Those women have 
done it." Then the whole crowd of them started 
running and from somewhere or other there came a 
shower of rotten eggs. The two women were com- 
pletely taken by surprise, and, more anxious to avoid 
the eggs than the angry crowd, they rushed into a 
grocer's shop, whilst a big brewer's drayman, who 
had been standing by jumped into the doorway and 
fought their assailants off until they were safe. The 
men and boys outside howled as their prey escaped 
them, and the people to whom the shop belonged, 
though anxious to protect the women, cried out de- 
spairingly that the windows would be broken in. 
Mrs. Pankhurst at once said that she could not bear 
to be the cause of loss to those who had sheltered 
her, and at her own request she and Mrs. Martel 
were led through a back door and across a yard 
leading to a narrow lane behind, whence it was 
thought that they would be able to escape. As soon 
as the door had been shut upon them, their assailants 
who had guessed their movements came rushing up. 
Mrs. Martel was seized by one who caught her by 
the throat and began to beat her about the head, 
but in a flash the shopkeeper's wife had heard the 
noise and had opened the door again and, somehow 


or other, she and Mrs. Pankhurst had rescued Mrs. 
Martel and had dragged her into the yard. The 
door was shut and safely bolted in all haste, but just 
as it closed, a man struck Mrs. Pankhurst a heavy 
blow on the back of the head, and, as she staggered 
on the threshold, pulled her back and she was left 
outside. Then the men gave an angry shout, and 
one of them, seizing her by the collar of her coat and 
by her wrists, flung her to the ground. She caught 
a glimpse of them all rushing on her, then for a time 
she knew nothing until she felt the wet mud soaking 
through her clothes. There was a pause. As she 
lay there looking at them, she saw that they had all 
closed round her in a ring, and that in the centre 
was an empty barrel. " Are they going to put me 
into it?" The thought flashed through her mind. 
Hours seemed to pass as she watched them, all 
dressed in drab-coloured clothes, smeared with yel- 
low clay, and every one wearing a red Liberal 
rosette. They all seemed to be puny half-grown 
youths, and without knowing why she did so, she 
asked, " Are there no men here? " For an instant 
they still stood. Then one of them came forward, 
and she felt that whatever was to be done to her was 
about to begin, but suddenly there was a shout, and 
the police came galloping up with a crowd of res- 
cuers at their heels. Her assailants turned tail, and 
she was lifted up and carried back through the yard 
into the shop. A. large force of police now sur- 
rounded the premises, but a great crowd had as- 
sembled, and it was two hours before a motor car 
could be brought through it and the women were 
able to get away. The disorder did not end here, 
for the rowdies flocked thence to the Conserva- 


tive Club, smashed every one of its windows, and 
kept its members besieged there all through the 
night. Next morning the body of Sergeant Major 
Kendall of the Royal Marines, an ex-Instructor of 
the Newton Abbot College, was found in the mill 
race. Foul play was suspected, as he had been 
severely bruised about the head. Throughout this 
violent disturbance not a single arrest was made. 
During the whole course of the election but one man 
was fined five shillings and costs for assaulting one of 
his political opponents. Well indeed might the 
Suffragettes say that the treatment meted out to them 
was very different from that extended to men who 
were fighting on the Government side. 

As a result of the attack which had been made 
upon her, Mrs. Pankhurst was unable to walk for 
some considerable time, and her ankle was so 
severely injured that it gave her trouble for more 
than a year, whilst owing to the treatment she re- 
ceived Mrs. Martel will probably always bear a 
scar upon her neck. Scarcely a word of regret for 
the violence which had been done to these two women 
ever appeared in the Liberal newspapers, who were 
so largely to blame for what had occurred. After the 
election was over the Conservative politicians 
claimed that they alone had kept out the Liberal 
and the Liberals also preferred to attribute their 
defeat to the Tariff Reformers rather than to the 
Suffragettes. Only one of the Liberal newspapers, 
the Manchester Guardian admitted both during and 
after the election that the woman's question had 
played a decisive part. The Special Correspond- 
ent of this paper, in the issue of January 20th, 


I think there can be no doubt that the Suffragettes did 
influence votes. Their activity, the interest shown in their 
meetings, the success of their persuasive methods in enlisting 
the popular sympathy, the large number of working women 
who acted with them as volunteers, these were features of 
the election which, although strangely ignored by most of 
the newspapers, must have struck most visitors to the con- 

An amusing proof that the Liberals in the district 
had considered the Suffragettes to be very formidable 
opponents came to light in the following mock 
mourning card which had been got out in expecta- 
tion of the Liberal victory. 

In Fond and Loving Memory 

of the 


Who fell asleep at Mid-Devon on January 17th, 


The Suffragettes and Tariff Reformers are now very 

And should see it's no use contesting Mid-Devon any 

more ; 
And the Hooligans of Shaldon you can send over and 

That a strong and Buxton Liberal has broken their 




Meanwhile the Suffragettes were fighting the Gov- 
ernment at three other elections — at South Here- 


ford (Ross), Worcester, and South Leeds. The 
result of the Poll at Ross was that the Liberal 
majority of 312 was turned into a Conservative ma- 
jority of over 1,000. The figures were: 

Captain Clive (U.) 4»945 

Mr. Whitely Thompson (L.) 3,928 

Unionist majority 1,019 

The figures at the general election had been : 

Lieut.-CoI. Alan C. Gardner (L.) 4,497 

Capt. Percy A. Clive (U.) 4,185 

Liberal majority 312 



Calls Upon Cabinet Ministers. The Third 
Women's Parliament. The Pantechnicon Van 
Stratagem. Mrs. Pankhurst's First Arrest. Mr. 
Dickinson's Bill, the First Albert Hall Meeting 


Incidents in the Votes for Women campaign 
now followed each other with such rapidity that they 
defy the chronicler who wishes to note them down. 
Because vigorous militancy was the order of the day, 
the Press teemed with articles upon the abstract 
question of Votes for Women and with notices 
of the doings of the Suffragettes. *' SUF- 
These and others of the same nature, were the 
startling headlines that one saw in the evening papers 
on January 17th and in the morning papers of the 
following day. It was merely that Mrs. Drum- 
mond and a number of other members of our Union, 
knowing that the Cabinet was sitting to decide upon 
the questions which should find a place in the legis- 
lative programme of the forthcoming session had 



made an attempt to urge upon them the necessity of 
dealing with the women's claim. 

Whilst Press representatives were congregating 
in Downing Street, to snapshot the Ministers and 
to gain material for foolish paragraphs describing 
their appearance and manner of arrival at the first 
Cabinet Council of the Season, and whilst police 
were assembling to dance attendance upon the Prime 
Minister and his colleagues, three or four of the 
Women appeared to demand an interview. The 
police pulled them aside and the Cabinet Ministers 
brushed past as they tried to speak, and when they 
applied at the door of the official residence, no 
notice was taken. Then Miss New, well knowing 
that her words would be heard both inside the House 
and by the crowd that was collecting in the street, 
began to make a speech explaining what she and 
her friends had come for. Before beginning, she 
chained herself to the railings beside the Prime 
Minister's front door, both symbolically to express 
the political bondage of womanhood, and for the 
very practical reason that this device would prevent 
her being dragged speedily away. Her example 
was followed by Nurse Olivia Smith and, whilst the 
police were struggling to break the double set of 
chains, a taxi-cab drove up and stopped on the op- 
posite side of the street. Suspecting more Suf- 
fragettes, some of the constables rushed to the door 
of the cab which opened on to the pavement. At 
the same moment, Mrs. Drummond (for it was 
she who had devised this stratagem), opened the 
cab door on the road side and bounded across to 
the sacred Residence, where, as there was no one to 
bar her progress and as she now possessed the secret 


of the little knob in the centre of the door, she was 
inside and very near to the Council Chamber itself, 
before a number of men, some of whom she believed 
to be Cabinet Ministers, though owing to the vio- 
lent and hurried nature of her ejection it was im- 
possible to make quite sure, rushed upon her, and 
she was flung out and hurled down the steps. She 
was then arrested, and shortly afterwards she and 
four of her comrades found themselves before Sir 
Albert de Rutzen at Bow Street Police Court, 
charged with disorderly conduct. They were found 
guilty and on refusing to be bound, were sent to 
prison for three weeks. Instead of placing them 
in the first division, as had been done in the case 
of all the Suffragettes since the transfer of Mrs. 
Cobden Sanderson and the rest of us had taken place 
in October, 1906, the authorities reverted to the old 
plan of putting them in the second class. 

On January 29th the King opened Parliament in 
great state, and four members of the Women's Free- 
dom League rushed in to the Royal Procession and 
attempted to present him with a Petition, but were 
dragged back and hustled aside by the soldiery and 
police. The King's speech did not contain any men- 
tion of Votes for Women, and the Women's Social 
and Political Union was already preparing to confer 
upon the subject at a Women's Parliament to be held 
in the Caxton Hall on February i ith, 12th, and 13th. 
In the meantime the Members of the Women's 
Freedom League had determined to make an imme- 
diate protest, and the day after the opening of Par- 
liament they set out to interview six members of the 
Cabinet. Three of the ladies, Dr. Helen Bourchier, 
Mrs. Kennindale Cook, a well known novelist, and 


Miss Munro, a Scotch woman from Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman's constituency, visited Mr. ' 
Haldane at his house at Queen Anne's Gate at 
9 :30. They agreed with the butler to wait outside 
until Mr. Haldane could see them, but the Secretary 
of State for War telephoned to the police, who soon 
appeared in force and placed the women under ar- 
rest. The same sort of thing happened at the houses 
of Sir Edward Grey, Mr. Harcourt and Captain 
Sinclair. Altogether seven women were arrested and 
sentenced to terms of imprisonment varying from 
two to six weeks. 

In the afternoon of the same day Mr. Asquith 
received a deputation from the National Union of 
Women's Suffrage Societies. He then definitely said 
that the Government would not introduce a Vote 
for Women measure on their own account and also 
refused to hold out any hope that the Government 
would allow of the passage of a private Member's 
Bill. As they left the Treasury offices the so-called 
" Constitutional " Suffragists agreed that Mr. As- 
quith's remarks would merely serve to incite the Suf- 
fragettes to further militancy. 

They judged rightly, for the next day nine mem- 
bers of the Women's Freedom League called at Mr. 
Asquith's house at No. 20, Cavendish Square, and, 
on being refused an interview with him, decorated 
his area railings with " Votes for Women " 
banners and bills, and, using his topmost doorstep 
as a platform, proceeded to address a crowd of some 
seventy persons that had collected. Four arrests 
were the result. The women were brought 
up before Mr. Plowden at Marylebone Police Court 
^nd claimed the right to speak in their own defence, 


but Dr. Helen Bourchier, the first who uttered a 
word, was stopped by the would-be witty Mr. 
Plowden, who said rudely '* Behave yourself I 
You are the bell-weather of the flock." He then 
declared all the women guilty of obstruction, and 
ordered them either to pay fines of forty shillings 
or to undergo one month's imprisonment in the 
Second Division, saying that he wanted them to un- 
derstand that if they thought the punishment light, 
it was because it was all that the Law allowed him 
to give them, and adding ** I do not consider it by 
any means a fair measure of your deserts.'* 

Meanwhile the reversion to the policy of treat- 
ing the Suffragettes as ordinary criminals instead of 
according to them the treatment usually meted out 
to political prisoners, was being raised in both 
Houses of Parliament. Earl Russell and others 
urged the government that ** the blood of the 
martyrs is the seed of the Church," but the Govern- 
ment were deaf alike to appeal and warning. 

The Women's Social and Political Union had long 
realised this, and when the third Women's Parlia- 
ment met in the Caxton Hall on February nth, 
1908, it did so with all the splendid courage and 
enthusiasm for militant action that had characterised 
its predecessors. It was now known that an ex- 
cellent place in the private Members ballot had been 
won, and on the Women's Bill, by Mr. Stanger, a 
Liberal, and it was realised that before February 
28th, when the Bill was to come up for second 
reading, strong pressure must be brought to bear 
upon the Government to prevent this Bill being 
wrecked as that of Mr. Dickinson had been in the 
previous year. It was therefore with an added sense 


of immediate pressing necessity that the women set 
out unflinchingly for the old hard fight with over- 
whelming force. The motion to carry the usual 
resolution to the Prime Minister was moved by Miss 
Marie Naylor and Miss Florence Haig both London 
Members of the Union and both Chelsea portrait 
painters, and then the whole Hall seemed to rock 
with the noise of the cheers as the majority of the 
women present sprang up to form a deputation. 

Meanwhile an extraordinary scene had taken place 
close to the Strangers' Entrance to the House of 
Commons. It had been anticipated, of course, that 
the Suffragettes would make an attempt to lay their 
Resolution before the Prime Minister and a great 
force of Police was massed in readiness before the 
House. Just about four o'clock as the long lines of 
men in their dark-blue uniform waited there, two 
furniture removal vans slowly approached, coming up 
Victoria Street and round by the green which sur- 
rounds the Abbey and St. Margaret's Church, as 
though they were about to make their way past the 
House of Commons and along Millbank towards the 
Tate Gallery and Westminster Embankment. The 
first van went slowly by the House, the second 
crawled leisurely in its wake and along the back ledge 
of the second van lay a sleepy-looking boy, his eyes 
idly fixed upon a little man sauntering along the 
pavement some distance away. Just as this van 
was passing the Strangers' Entrance the little man 
dropped a handkerchief, then suddenly the boy 
sprang from the ledge, the back doors of the van 
flew open wide, and one-and-twenty women plunged 
out and made a rush for the House of Commons. 
They were blinded by the broad daylight after their 


long ride in the darkness of the van, and as they 
jumped, many of them fell on their knees and grop- 
ing helplessly, ran the wrong way. Nevertheless there 
were some who headed straight for the door-way and 
two of them managed to get inside, only to be flung 
back instantly, whilst the police closed round and 
several arrests were made. 

Meanwhile the body of women who had engaged 
to carry the Resolution to the Prime Minister, had 
emerged from the Caxton Hall, and having formed 
up four abreast in orderly procession, had begun to 
move quietly forward towards the House of Com- 
mons. Large crowds had gathered to see them 
whilst the police were drawn up on either side of 
the road, and at one point formed a line across the 
thoroughfare. The constables pushed and jostled 
the women for some time without altogether pre- 
venting their passage, but at Broad Sanctuary, a large 
contingent of police entirely blocked the way. Un- 
daunted, the women pressed forward, and the 
crowds, some with the idea of helping the Suffra- 
gettes, others from curiosity, pressed forward too. 
The police charged again and again, and there was 
grave danger that someone would be trampled un- 
der foot. When at last the streets were cleared, it 
was found that some fifty women had been arrested, 
amongst these Miss Marie Naylor and Miss Florence 
Haig, Georgina and Marie Brackenbury, both of 
them painters, and nieces of General Sir Henry 
Brackenbury, and Miss Maud Joachim, niece of the 
great violinist. 

The Suffragette cases came on next morning be- 
fore Mr. Horace Smith at the Westminster Police 
Court, Mr. Muskett, who prosecuted on behalf of 


the police, then announced that on this occasion 
the authorities had decided as before to prosecute 
under the Prevention of Crimes Amendment Act of 
1885, which enabled the Magistrate to inflict a fine 
of £5 or, in default, to order imprisonment with 
or without hard labour for two months. Throw- 
ing down a remarkable challenge to the women, he 
added that there were greater and stronger powers 
in reserve which could be enforced to put down dis- 
order, for there was still upon the Statute Book 
an Act passed in the reign of Charles II which dealt 
with " Tumultuous Petitions either to the Crown or 
Parliament." He recalled the fact that it had 
been stated by the judge at the time of the Lord 
George Gordon riots that that Act was still good 
law, and, he said, that the dictum still applied. The 
Act of Charles II provided that 

No person whatever shall repair to His Majesty or both 
or either of the Houses of Parliament upon pretence of pre- 
senting or delivering any petition, complaint, remonstrance 
or declaration or other address accompanied with an exces- 
sive number of people, nor at any one time with above the 
number of twelve persons. 

Penalties might be enforced under this Act up to 
a fine of £100 or three months' imprisonment. In 
holding forth this threat to women who might 
demonstrate in the future, Mr. Muskett again ap- 
pealed to the Magistrate to deal with those who 
were now charged with all the rigour which he 
would apply to ordinary law-breakers. 

The prisoners were then one by one brought in. 
Georgina Brackenbury, tall, fair, and well featured, 
was the first to be put into the dock. The Magis- 
trate affected to take scant interest in the case, and 


in spite of her own splendid courtesy of manner, ad- 
dressed her with pettish rudeness, and finally inter- 
rupted her statement with ** That is all nonsense/' 
The whole of the proceedings were conducted in 
the same spirit. But two women out of the fifty 
had been imprisoned before, and these . two, Mrs. 
Rigby, the wife of a doctor in Preston, and Mrs. 
Titterington, as " old offenders," were ordered 
either to pay fines of £5 or to suffer one month's 
imprisonment in the third and lowest class. The 
other forty-seven women were ordered to be bound 
over in two sureties of £20 to keep the peace for 
twelve months or to serve six weeks' imprisonment in 
the second Division. With the exception of two, 
whose absence from home was found to be impossible 
owing to the serious illness of relatives, all the 
women chose imprisonment. 

All these things were of course largely discussed 
in the Press. The furniture van incident attracted 
the greatest attention, and the van itself was likened 
by almost every newspaper to the wooden horse of 
Troy. The Daily Chronicle said: 

The Suffragettes are essentially heroic. First they lash 
themselves to the Premier's railings; now borrowing an idea 
from the Trojan horse, they burst forth from a pantechnicon 
van. ... A high standard of artifice has been set and 
it should be maintained. The Trojan horse would have 
been of no use if it had remained outside the walls, and 
though curiosity could never be expected to prompt Mem- 
bers to drag a deserted pantechnicon into the House, there 
must be occasions when a large-sized packing case is taken 
into St. Stephen's. 

The Glasgow Evening Times called for a poet 
of Hudibrastic gifts to rise and embody in heroic 


verse the deeds of the Suffragettes, and asserted that 
*' The daring attack yesterday evening on that 
citadel of democratic liberty, the House of Com- 
mons, is of itself sufficient to inspire a Homer, or 
at least a Peter Pindar." The Evening News said 
that until the Suffragettes had outwitted the police- 
men by the use of the furniture van, they had never 
believed in the story of the Trojan horse, now they 
knew it to be quite possible after all. 

In the Women's Parliament it was the more seri- 
ous side of the case that appealed to us. 5Ve saw 
that the Government were preparing still further to 
resist our just and moderate demands, and rather 
than concede them were even ready to revive an- 
cient coercive Statutes which the customs and princi- 
ples of modern times had caused to fall into disuse. 
This Act of Charles II, with which they had threat- 
ened us, had originally been passed to obstruct 
the growth of the Liberal Party, which first 
came into existence in Stuart times. It was the 
political descendants of those very Liberals who 
would now use this coercive Statute against their 
countrywomen. Well might Christabel Pankhurst 
ask in the Women's Parliament, ** What would have 
been said If a Tory Government had done this 
thing?" "This takes us back to stirring times, 
ladles," she told the women. " At last it is realised 
that women are fighting for freedom as their fathers 
fought. ... If they want twelve women, aye, 
and more than twelve, if a hundred women are 
wanted to be tried under that Act and to be sent 
to prison for three months they can be found." 

There was no militant demonstration on that day, 
but everyone knew that something more was to 


happen, and on Thursday afternoon, the 13th of 
February, when the Women's Parliament met for its 
concluding session, a feeling of most extraordinary 
excitement prevailed. Mrs. Pankhurst had just re- 
turned from the by-election at South Leeds, and the 
audience listened eagerly to her account of the cam- 
paign, and especially to the story of the torchlight 
procession and the wonderful meeting of 100,000 
people on Hunslett Moor. In spite of the fact that 
police protection had been refused at the last mo- 
ment, there had been no disorder, only sympathy and 
enthusiasm all along the route, whilst the vast crowds 
that parted to let the procession through had joined 
on to it and added to its numbers from behind, and 
some of the women had constantly called out in 
broad Yorkshire: " Shall us have the vote? " to be 
answered by others with cries of *' we shall." 

I have come to London, Mrs. Pankhurst concluded, 
feeling, as I have never felt before, the seriousness of this 
struggle. I feel that the time has come when I must act, 
and I wish to volunteer to be one of those to carry our Reso- 
lution to Parliament this afternoon. My experience in the 
country and especially in South Leeds has taught me things 
that Cabinet Ministers who have not that experience do not 
know, and has made me feel that I must make one final 
attempt to see them and to urge them to reconsider their 
position before some terrible disaster has occurred. 

Then, amid some emotional excitement and cries 
of " Mrs Pankhurst must not go," " We cannot 
spare our leader " — cries which were calmly set 
aside by practical business-like Christabel, who an- 
nounced that the deputation was definitely chosen and 
that its thirteen members were all prepared to be ar- 
rested and tried under the Charles II Act — the 


Resolution was carried and Mrs. Pankhurst, Annie 
Kenney, and eleven other women marched out of 
the hall, whilst almost the whole of the audience 
flocked into the corridor and stood around the door- 
way to watch them go. 

Mrs. Pankhurst had been lamed in the cowardly 
attack that had been made upon her at Mid-Devon, 
and had not yet recovered. Seeing this Mrs. Drum- 
mond ran forward to get a conveyance. She saw 
none for hire, but called to a man in a private dog- 
cart and asked him if he would drive Mrs. Pank- 
hurst to the House of Commons. He agreed, and 
the other women formed up on foot behind the 
vehicle two and two abreast. The police were al- 
ready massed around in great force and the little 
procession had moved but a few slow steps when 
a Police Inspector came forward and Insisted that 
Mrs. Pankhurst should dismount. She instantly 
obeyed the order, signing to her companions not to 
protest. The twelve women of the deputation at 
the same time hurried forward to re-form In double 
line behind their leader, but the Inspector and his 
men dragged them apart. Then the deputation, 
hemmed in by men, women and police on every side, 
proceeded In single file as far as Chapel Street. 
There the Inspector said they must not walk In pro- 
cession. They therefore broke Into twos and threes, 
but when they came to the entrance of Victoria 
Street the police entirely barred the way, and It was 
only after a considerable struggle that they were 
able to gain the main thoroughfare. There a 
vast concourse of people had assembled and right 
in the midst of it one saw Mrs. Pankhurst wear- 
ing a long loose cloak whose light grey colour 


made her figure stand out from the darkly clad 
men around. She came forward with Mrs. Baldock 
clinging to her arm, and tall, pretty, smiling young 
Gladice Keevil, her face a little flushed and her soft 
hair blowing a little in the wind, walking on the 
other side, and with the great crowd following and 
filling the whole street around. 

Scattered amongst the people behind and moving 
forward either singly or in twos, the rest of the 
deputation followed. Close to Westminster Palace 
Hotel Mrs. Pankhurst, who up to this point had 
followed in the wake of a Police Inspector and 
carefully obeyed all the instructions of the police, 
was arrested and taken through Parliament Square 
on the side furthest from the House in the strong 
grip of two burly policemen. Clad in her heavy 
travelling cloak, her face had grown white with ex- 
haustion, and she was evidently in pain, but no heed 
was paid to her lameness, and she was hurried along 
at a brisk trot, and at last disappeared down the 
narrow lane at the top of Bridge Street which leads 
to Canon Row Police Station. Mrs. Baldock and 
Gladice Keevil, who had refused to leave her, had 
for this cause been arrested and almost immediately 
afterwards Annie Kenney was also taken into cus- 
tody. Later on the same fate befell Mrs. Kerwood 
of Birmingham and five others, some of whom were 
not members of the deputation. 

Whilst this was happening, the Women's Parlia- 
ment was still in session, and every now and then 
someone returned from the battle to describe how 
events were going. Before the meeting closed our 
ever thoughtful Treasurer, Mrs. Pethick Lawrence, 
urged all not on the fighting line to subscribe to the 



war chest. More than £400 had been raised when 
the prisoners came back to us on bail at the rising of 

In the House of Commons itself the Government's 
hostile attitude towards the Suffragettes was raised 
as a matter of urgency on the motion for the ad- 
journment, by Sir William Bull, the Unionist member 
for Hammersmith, who showed genuine concern at 
the news of Mrs. Pankhurst's arrest. Other mem- 
bers of the same Party followed by jeering at the 
Government for the marked difference between their 
treatment of the Suffragist women and the men who 
had been arrested for cattle driving and similar of- 
fences in Ireland. Why was Mr. Ginnell, the Na- 
tionalist Member for Westmeath, to receive the privi- 
leges of a first class misdemeanant, they asked, 
whilst Mrs. Pankhurst and her comrades were to 
be treated as ordinary criminals. Lord Robert 
Cecil raised a laugh against the President of the 
Local Government Board, by pointing out that 
when he, Mr. John Burns, had been in prison for 
inciting to riot, the Government of the day had in- 
tervened to secure preferential treatment for him. 
In reply to all this Mr. Gladstone refused to take 
any action, saying that the women could come out 
of prison whenever they liked. 

When Mrs. Pankhurst and her comrades were 
brought up at Westminster Police Court before Mr. 
Horace Smith, next day, it was found that the au- 
thorities, who were perhaps disappointed at the 
way in which their challenge had been accepted, had 
changed their minds and instead of prosecuting the 
women as they had threatened under the Charles II 
Act, had decided to revert to the old method of 


stigmatising the whole affair as a mere vulgar brawl 
with the Police. Probably thinking the true facts 
would arouse too much public sympathy, the prose- 
cution put forward as evidence an absolute tissue 
of falsehood, in which it was stated that the deputa- 
tion had set out from the Caxton Hall singing and 
shouting in the noisest manner and that they had 
knocked off the helmets of the police and had as- 
saulted them right and left. As we have seen every- 
thing had been done most quietly, and Mrs. Pank- 
hurst herself had carefully complied with every order 
from the police short of abandoning her intention 
to reach the House of Commons. Our rebutting evi- 
dence was disregarded and Mrs. Pankhiirst's own 
statement in the dock was cut short by Mr. Horace 
Smith's saying, " I have nothing to do with that. 
It only amounts to another threat to break the law, 
and it is in no way relevant here. You, like the 
others, must find sureties in £20 for twelve months' 
good behaviour or be imprisoned for six weeks in the 
Second Division." 

Then as usual the women were hurried off in the 
van to prison, the HoUoway gates were closed upon 
them, and the Government settled down to forget 
them as far as it could until next time. 

February 28th was the day for the discussion of 
the Women's Enfranchisement Bill, in moving its 
second reading, Mr. H. Y. Stanger, whilst he care- 
fully dissociated himself from the methods of the 
Suffragettes, reminded the House that, if in the 
course of a political agitation, excesses were com- 
mitted, the authorities should search for the cause of 
the discontent and apply an appropriate remedy. 
Mr. Cathcart Wason, another Liberal member, but 


an antl-SuSragist, declared on the other hand that 
the Suffragette movement was founded on riot, and 
that the House should not " yield to clamour " ; yet 
with an entire lack of consistency, he went on to 
extol physical force, saying that because in his opin- 
ion women could make no contribution to this, they 
ought not to be allowed to vote. Evidently he for- 
got that, whilst the whole trend of civilisation has 
been in the direction of mental rather than physical 
dominance, in the age when physical force was the 
governing power, women were actually members of 
the legislature and, that they retained the right to 
vote for Members of Parliament throughout the 
ages when its possession was looked upon as a burden 
and until, having become a privilege, it was wrested 
from them. But all this talk was mere word spin- 
ning. It was a pronouncement from the Government 
benches, that was eagerly awaited. As last time, 
it was Mr. Herbert Gladstone who spoke, and for 
the Ministry, and he soon disclosed the fact that the 
Government was still determined to make no move. 
It was the old story of opposition in the Cabinet and 
the old excuse that no party in the House was united 
either for or against the question. As for the Bill 
he himself intended to vote for it, for, he said, mak- 
ing an important admission which his colleagues 
might well have taken to heart, " It may be im- 
perfect, but at any rate it removes a disqualification 
and an inequality which have been for so, long a deep 
source of complaint with great masses of the people 
of this country.'^ Then Mr. Gladstone went on to 
make some very remarkable statements, of which 
both he and the Government were afterwards to be 
reminded. He said amongst other things : 


Men have had to struggle for centuries for their political 
rights. . . . On the question of Women's Suffrage, ex- 
perience shows that predominance of argument alone — and 
I believe that that has been attained — is not enough to win 
the political day. 

In any reform movement, he went on to ex- 
plain, various stages had to be gone through; first 
there was the stage of *' academic discussion," and 
the ventilation of *' pious opinions " unaccompanied 
by " effective action,'' but after this, he continued, 
becoming perhaps a little carried away by his own 
words ; 

Comes the time when political dynamics are far more 
important than political argument. You have to move a 
great inert mass of opinion which, in the early stages, always 
exists in the country in regard to questions of the first mag- 
nitude. . . . Men have learned this lesson and know 
the necessity for demonstrating the greatness of their move- 
ment and for establishing that force majeure which actuates 
and arms a Government for effective work. That is the 
task before the supporters of this great movement. . . . 
Looking back at the great political crises in the thirties, the 
sixties and the eighties, it will be found that people did not 
go about in small crowds, nor were they content with en- 
thusiastic meetings in large halls; they assembled in their 
tens of thousands all over the country. 

*' But," said Mr. Gladstone, " of course it is 
not to be expected that women can assemble in 
such masses," but, " power belongs to the masses and 
through this power a Government can be influenced 
into more effective action than a Government will 
be likely to take under present conditions." 

Mr. Rees (Liberal) then made an attempt to talk 
out this Bill as he had done that of Mr. Dickinson 


the year before, and, after firing off all the jokes that 
he could think of, he fell back upon the Scriptures, 
saying, ** Jerusalem is ruined and Judah has fallen. 
As for my people, children are their oppressors and 
women rule over them. . . . Because the 
daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with 
stretched-forth necks, therefore the Lord will smite 
with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters 
of Zion and in that day the Lord will take away 
the bravery of their tinkling ornaments." 

But at this point he was interrupted by Lord Rob- 
ert Cecil who moved the closure of the debate, and, 
on the Speaker's accepting the motion and its being 
agreed to without a division, a vote was taken upon 
the Bill itself, in which 271 members voted for the 
Bill and only ninety-two against. There was there- 
fore a favourable majority of 179, the largest that 
had ever been cast in support of Women's Suffrage. 

Unfortunately it now appeared that Mr. Stanger 
had been informed beforehand that the closure reso- 
lution, which would prevent the talking out of the 
Bill, would only be accepted on condition that he, 
as the Bill's sponsor, would move that it be referred 
to a Committee of the whole House instead of pass- 
ing automatically to one of the Grand Committees. 
Mr. Stanger had agreed to the condition and now 
fulfiled the promise that had been exacted, and the 
result was that nothing further could be done with 
the Bill unless the Government would provide time 
for its discussion. 

Had the Cabinet been prepared to act honourably 
and to stand by the statement of their spokesman, 
Mr. Gladstone, the position would now have been 
that, if the women who wanted votes could organise 


a scries of demonstrations which could compare with 
those held by men in support of the various exten- 
sions of the franchise that had already taken place, 
the Government would concede their demands and 
would either provide time for the passage into law 
of Mr. Stanger's Bill or introduce and put through 
its various stages a measure of their own framing. 
The Women's Social and Political Union were pre- 
pared to accept Mr. Gladstone's challenge. 

When Mrs. Pankhurst and the other women had 
gone to prison, their comrades of the W. S. P. U., 
at Mrs. Pethick Lawrence's suggestion, had entered 
upon a week of self-denial in order to raise funds 
for the campaign. The thought of those who were 
in prison spurred on every member of the Union 
to renewed zeal. Some went canvassing from 
house to house for money. Others stood with col- 
lecting boxes at regular pitches in the street. At 
the Kensington High Street District Railway Sta- 
tion, for instance, four well known women writers, 
Miss Evelyn Sharpe, Miss May Sinclair, Miss 
Violet Hunt, and Miss Clemence Housman, were 
gathering in pennies all through those wintry days. 
Some women sold flowers, swept crossings, became 
pavement artists and played barrel organs. Poorer 
members obliged to work continuously for a living, 
denied themselves sugar and milk in their tea, but- 
ter on their bread, and walked to and from their 
work, in order to be able to give something to the 
funds. The result of this week of earnest effort 
was to be announced at a great meeting at the Al- 
bert Hall on March 19th, to advertise which a 
great box kite, with a flag attached, was hanging over 
the Houses of Parliament for a fortnight, \\4iilst a 


similar flag floated over Holloway Gaol to cheer 
the prisoners within. 

Every seat in the great Albert Hall was sold long 
before the day of the meeting, and hundreds of peo- 
ple were turned away at the doors. The vast audi- 
ence was composed almost entirely of women, and 
there were 200 women stewards in white dresses. 
The platform was decorated with flowers and 
thronged with ex-prisoners and the officials of 
the Union, but as the sentences of Mrs. Pankhurst 
and eight of her comrades were not to expire until 
the following morning, the Chairman's seat which 
the founder of the Union should have occupied, was 
left vacant and in it was placed a large white card 
bearing the inscription " Mrs. Pankhurst's chair." 

Throughout that great gathering there was a won- 
derful spirit of unity and not one woman there could 
wish in her heart, as so many millions have done, 
" if I had only been a man." No, they were rather 
like to pity those who were not women and so could 
not join in this great fight, for to-day it was the 
woman's battle. The time was gone when she must 
always play a minor part, applauding, ministering, 
comforting, performing useful functions if you will, 
incurring risks, too, and making sacrifices, but always 
being treated and always thinking of herself as a 
mere incident of the' struggle outside the wide main 
stream of life. To-day this battle of theirs seemed 
to the women to be the greatest in the world, all 
other conflicts appeared minor to it. A great wave 
of enthusiasm had caught them up and they were 
ready to break out into cheers and clapping at the 
least excuse. Fate, in the person of the Govern- 
ment, had provided an incident entirely in keeping 


with their mood, for Christabel immediately an- 
nounced that Mrs. Pankhurst and the remaining 
prisoners had been unexpectedly released, and Mrs. 
Pankhurst herself walked quietly on to the platform 
to take possession of the vacant chair. 

Then it was a wonderful sight to see the up- 
springing of those thousands of women from those 
rows and rows of seats and tiers and tiers of boxes 
and galleries sloping to the roof of the great circular 
hall. There was a sea of waving arms and hand- 
kerchiefs and a long chorus of cheers, — with no 
greater welcome could any leader have been met. 
The founder of the Union stood there quite still in 
her dark grey dress, and her face, usually pale, had 
that strangely blanched look, which comes to pris- 
oners. When, as the applause subsided, she stepped 
forward to speak to the assembled women, it was 
evident that she was deeply moved by their greet- 
ing, and as she told how the chief wardress had come 
to her cell at two o'clock that afternoon to tell her 
that an order had come for her immediate release, 
one felt that she was very tired and almost over- 
whelmed by the sharp contrast between that great 
brightly lighted hall, with its vast seething throng 
of human beings, and the still silence of the prison 
cell. She had heard, she told the women, — " for 
these things filter even into prison " — that the Bill 
had successfully passed its second reading, but she 
said, and all present knew that she spoke rightly, 
that if ever the Bill were to become an Act, women 
must do ten times more yet than they had ever done 
in the past. 

** I for one, friends," Mrs. Pankhurst cried, and 
we knew that she was thinking of the women she 


had seen in prison, " I for one, looking round on 
the sweated and decrepit members of my sex, say 
that men have had control of these things long 
enough and that no woman with any spark of 
womanliness in her will consent to allow this state of 
things to go on any longer. We are tired of it, wc 
want to be of use and to have the power to make 
the world a better place both for men and women 
than it is to-day. She paused then and went on to 
express quietly but with deep feeling her joy in this 
great woman's movement that a few years before 
she had thought she would never live to see. The 
old cry had been, " You will never rouse women," but 
she said, " we have done what they thought, and 
what they hoped, to be impossible; we women are 
roused." At those words they stopped her with their 

Then Annie Kenney rose to tell the story of her 
first and only other visit to the Royal Albert Hall, 
when she had gone there to ask of the newly elected 
and triumphant Liberal Ministry, a pledge for the en- 
franchisement of her sex. That night, two years 
before, she had been received with cries of abuse and 
howled down by an audience of angry men. " There 
seemed to be thousands against one," she said, " but 
I did not mind because I knew that our action that 
night was like summer rain on a drooping flower; it 
would give new life to the woman's movement." 

And now Mrs. Pethick Lawrence, our Treasurer, 
was to come forward to give yet one more proof 
that Annie Kenney's words were true. When the 
treasurer had imagined that Mrs. Pankhurst's chair 
was to be an empty one, she had planned that those 
present should place in it an offering of money for 


the cause, but now she would be able to place that 
offering in the founder's hands. Towards the sum 
that was collected there was already the £2,382 
IIS. yd, which had been raised by the devotion and 
sacrifice of members of the Union during the week 
of self denial; a promise of £1,000 a year till 
women were enfranchised, from a lady who wished 
to remain anonymous, and a second £1,000 which 
Mrs. Lawrence herself, in conjunction with her hus- 
band, wished to give. And now it was for the audi- 
ence to do their part. 

Whilst the treasurer had been speaking, Mr. Law- 
rence had been arranging a scoring apparatus. 
Then, one by one, twelve women rose up in the hall 
and each promised to give £100. Their example 
was followed by numbers of others. At the same 
time, promise cards, filled up by members of the audi- 
ence, were constantly being handed to the platform, 
where Mrs. Lawrence read them out. At last the 
sum of £7,000 had been set up, and, with a stirring 
call from Christabel to work at the by-elections at 
Peckham and Hastings in which the Union was 
then engaging, the meeting closed. 

As it was in London, the Peckham election was of 
course most noticed by the Press and, because it was 
so near its headquarters, the Women's Social and 
Political Union was able to put up the biggest fight 

On Peckham Rye, a stretch of common land where 
hosts of preachers and speakers of all kinds are to 
be heard on every holiday, each of the parties in the 
election, including the Suffragettes, began by hold- 
ing a meeting on the first Sunday of the contest. 
There was a good deal of rather dangerous horse- 


play which ominously recalled the Mid-Devon elec- 
tion, the Suffragettes being chief target of the 
disturbers. But before many days were over the sit- 
uation had entirely changed. Peckham, as every 
Londoner knows, is one of that great forest of sub- 
urbs of mushroom growth on the south side of the 
river. Its miles and miles of dingy streets are lined 
with monotonous rows of ugly little houses which the 
jerry builder tries to convert into villa residences 
by disfiguring with heavy over-ornamented stone 
work and by planting a useless pillar on either side 
of the narrow doorway. A large proportion of 
these little dwellings are tenanted by at least two 
families, and the district is given over to small shop- 
keepers and clerks, shop assistants, teachers and those 
who belong more frankly to the working classes. 
No one who can afford to live elsewhere chooses 
to live in Peckham; It is full of honest worthy peo- 
ple, but there is nothing romantic or attractive about 

The Suffragettes opened their Committee Rooms 
in the High Street and soon seemed to be every- 
where. They were riding up and down on the noisy 
electric tram cars and dashing along Rye Lane, 
where the cheap shops are and where on Saturday 
nights you can buy everything for half the usual 
price at the costermongers' stalls, chalking the pave- 
ments, giving out handbills, and speaking at the street 
corners, and soon it was found that these busy, active 
women had not only converted almost everyone in the 
district to the justice of their claims, but had cap- 
tured the heart of the constituency. How had it 
happened? Partly, it may be, because of the ro- 
mance and colour that they had brought into the 


humdrum Peckham life, but perhaps the following 
impressions of " An Enthusiast " which appeared in 
the Daily Mail in the midst of the election will best 
explain the mystery: 

Three happy girls, eyes laughter-lit, breezy, buoyant, joy- 
ous, arm in arm, talking like three cascades, are making a 
royal progress down " the lane that leads to Rye." Such is 
the head of the comet. Just a glance at the tail. A hetero- 
geneous nebula of human life — all ranks and ages, both 
sexes and all professions, following, jostling, bustling, hus- 
tling. Miss Christabel Pankhurst shakes herself free from 
one of her supporters, and takes under her wing a barefoot, 
ragged urchin, whose eyes are dancing with glee and pride, 
for his pals are envious. Who is he that that gloved hand 
should rest caressingly upon his shoulder ? The girl and the 
gamin trudge along together. " Oh, ain't she just sweet? " 
says a factory girl, " and fancy 'er abeen to prison ! " 
" Carn*t she tork — my word ? " chimes in her mate. 
" Why, she just shut up them blokes as arsked the ques- 
tions just like a man, she did ! " 

Her magnetism lies in her complexity, her bafflingness, 
her buoyance, her radiant health, her colouring — that of the 
inside of a seashell. She is so every inch alive — the very 
exuberance of life, body and mind. Not the racked in- 
tensity that comes of nerves high strung and over-active 
brain, but just that finger-tip aliveness which comes of per- 
fect health and perfect happiness in engrossing occupation. 

This girl orator and organiser, martyr and crusader, holds 
and sways her crowds by a very network of antithesis, and 
her rosy face is the index of her complexity. Defiance 
chases demureness; she flings a madcap word and then lec- 
tures you like a schoolmistress. 

One moment reticent, grave, and serious, then simmering 
with mischief, as she lays a Cabinet Minister or a man in 
the crowd safely upon his back — O rash questioner ! Then 
her wilfulness — that puckered chin tells a tale — yet her 


willingness to listen and to learn. Her melting, compre- 
hending sympathy for the sorrowful and heavy-laden — her 
rapier wit and repartee, but ever smothered in the white 
sugar of good humour. All these you see — some, when 
sitting in the background of the trolly, she seeks to hide 
from the public stare, which she shrinks from with a maid- 
en's modesty when not actually engaged in speaking — 
others, when with lissome figure swaying, in rhythmic sym- 
pathy with the outpouring words,, she fastens her mind and 
yours upon the point at issue. 

And then her unconscious petulance. That green veil of 
hers tied under her chin that would for ever get awry. 
Yes, she is very, very feminine, and that is what will win 
the vote for women. 

With a voice that never tires (nor ever tires the listener), 
she is born to charm the ear with an ebb and flow of sweet 
sound — sound so clear, so silver, so bell-like, now rising, 
now falling, now rushing and tumultuous, now measured 
and tempered and austere — earnest and grave — impetuous, 
a very volley, ardent, burning, scathing, denunciatory — 
then sinking to appeal to low notes and something near to 

Shall I speak of her logic? It is inexorable. It is not on 
mere smart retort that she depends when heckled — she has 
a good case and relies on it. She is saturated with facts, 
and the hecklers find themselves heckled, twitted, tripped, 
floored. I think they like it. She does, and shows it. She 
flings herself into the fray, and literally pants for the next 
question to tear to shreds. Her questioners are for the most 
part earthenware, and this bit of porcelain does them in the 
eye, quaintly, daintily, intellectually, glibly. 

Look to it, Mr. Gautrey, or the witchery of Christabel 
will " do you in the eye." 

No, the electors of Peckham agreed, these Suffra- 
gettes were not the sort of women they had read of. 
They were neither the " disorderly," " shouting," 


** abusive," " unsexed,'* " violent '* creatures, nor the 
" soured," " dry," and " disappointed " women they 
had been led to expect. 

It was not merely the " enthusiast " in the Daily 
Mail who testified to the work that the Suffragettes 
were doing. Conservative newspapers, though they 
generally preferred to ignore the Suffragettes be- 
cause, though opposing the Government, they were 
not supporting either the Conservative candidates 
or their proposals, nevertheless they allowed some of 
the truths that the special correspondent told them 
about the women's campaign to filter into their col- 

The Standard said: "These women are pre- 
pared to kill themselves with fatigue and exposure, 
not for the vote but for what the vote means." The 
By-Stander said : " The ladies' tongues have been 
tireless and their brains inexhaustible. Of all the 
assembled bodies, and their name was legion, who 
thronged Peckham, theirs has been, the most persist- 
ent." The Pall Mall Gazette said: "Everybody 
seems agreed that the best speeches in the election 
are being made by the lady Suffragists," whilst the 
Daily Mail asserted that "in no contest have the 
Suffragettes figured so largely or done such harm to 
the Radical candidate." 

There is a type of man who will sometimes ask a 
woman's advice about politics and may even admit 
that she is not only a better speaker than he is but 
knows more about public questions than he will ever 
know, and who yet thinks it quite tolerable that she 
should be forever debarred from voiing, though he 
has had that privilege since he was twenty-one. Men 
of this type are usually great followers of Party, 


and allow their ideas of right and wrong in politics 
to be almost entirely dictated by the actions of the 
very fallible gentlemen who happen to be their Party 
leaders. Liberals of this type, whether editors of 
newspapers, journalists, Members of Parliament, or 
merely rank and file, had always condemned the 
Suffragettes because the Liberal party happened to 
be attacked by them. 

The Suffragette opposition at Peckham caused 
them to be more indignant than ever, for Peckham 
was a Liberal seat that had been held at the last elec- 
tion by the great majority of 2,339 votes, and if 
this big majority were to be pulled down they feared 
that the House of Lords would be emboldened to 
throw out the Government's Licensing Bill which 
was then being debated in Parliament. It was true 
that, though the Liberals now spoke of this Bill as 
being of paramount importance, they had themselves 
been just as keen upon a host of other questions and 
had over and over again before this called upon the 
Suffragettes to stand aside and refrain from pressing 
their claim at what on each occasion they assured 
them was the crisis of all crises. First it had been 
that the Liberal Government might come safely into 
power that they had charged the women to wait, 
then that Free Trade might be put out of danger, 
then for the passage of the Education Bill, the Plural 
Voting Bill and every measure put forward. In 
every case they assumed that the proposal ad- 
vanced by the Liberal Cabinet was the only possible 
solution of the problem and in spite of the differ- 
ences of opinion amongst men, they maintained that 
no right-minded woman could conscientiously wish 
for any other. 


When it came to the question of the Licensing Bill, 
the Liberal politicians declared that the sole issue 
of the election was between the Licensing Bill on the 
one hand and intemperance on the other. This was 
absurd, for if the Liberals wished to be rid of the 
Suffragette opposition, they had only to remove their 
veto from the Woman's Bill. 

On the morning after their release from Hollo- 
way, Mrs. Pankhurst and the other ex-prisoners 
drove off to Peckham in brakes and paraded the con- 
stituency holding meetings at various points, and 
worked there incessantly until the end. A proces-r 
sion of their own ex-prisoners was also organised by 
the Suffragettes of the Women's Freedom League 
who were also helping to fight the Government in 
this election. The Liberals retorted by displaying 
a big stocking, blue, the Peckham Liberals colour, 
labelled, ** since my wife turned Suffragette L can't 
get my stockings darned 1" but this fell very flat. 
On polling day the Star showed its belief in the 
strong influence which women were exerting in the 
election, by making its final appeal on behalf of the 
Government candidate, not to the men voters but to 
the women of Peckham. The Suffragettes were sta- 
tioned at every polling booth, and, as the voters 
passed in, many of those who had hitherto voted for 
the Liberal party handed their colours and polling 
cards to the women with a promise to vote against 
the Government on this occasion. On seeing this 
one of the Liberal officials became so angry that he 
threatened to prosecute a member of the Freedom 
League under the Corrupt Practices Act. 

In the evening after the poll closed, Mrs. Drum- 
mond, upon whom the organisation of the Suffra- 


gettes' campaign had chiefly fallen, and who had 
been too busy all day even to get a meal, repaired 
to the Town Hall where the votes were being 
counted. As she stood waiting on the steps, weari- 
ness showing at last in every line of her bonnie round 
face and sturdy little figure, the door-keeper, invited 
her to rest in the entrance hall until the result was 
known. Presently she heard a loud burst of shout- 
ing, and a number of men, in the midst of whom was 
Mr. Winston Churchill, came running down the 
stairs from the count. She started up, eager to learn 
the news, but was swept out into the street in the 
midst of those who were impetuously rushing on. At 
that moment there flared out a magnesium light — 
red, the Conservative colour. It was known that 
the Government candidate had been defeated,^ and 
the huge crowd outside broke into cheers. Mr. 
Churchill was pushed about like anyone else, and 
had to work his way out of the throng, but the work- 
ing men seeing Mrs. Drummond there, a worker 
like themselves, who had been labouring strenuously 
amongst them during the past week, and whom they 
all thoroughly respected, crowded round her cheer- 
ing, and as her husband's constituents did to little 
Scotch Maggie in Mr. Barrie's play ** What Every 
Woman Knows," they lifted her shoulder-high, and 
bore her in triumph down the street. But Mrs. 

1 The figures were Mr. C. A. Gooch (C) 6,970 

Mr. T. Gautrey (L) 4,476 

Majority 2^94 

The figures at the General Election had been : 

Mr. Charles G. Clarke (L) 5,903 

Sir F. G. Banbury (C) 3,564 


Drummond felt exceedingly uncomfortable in this 
exalted state, and, asking to be released, hurriedly 
sped away. 

Now that their late majority of 2,339 had been 
turned into a majority for the Conservatives of 
2,494, the Liberals proceeded to heap abuse upon 
the electors and to assert that the contest had been 
disgraced by unprecedented corruption and insobriety. 
But the experience of the Suffragettes was that the 
election was one of the most sober and orderly that 
they had ever attended, and their feeling was that 
the defeat of the Liberal candidate was very much 
more largely due to the Government's refusal to 
grant votes to women and to its coercive treatment of 
the women's movement than to any other cause. 
This opinion was shared by many others. Dr. Rob- 
ert Esler, the Divisional Surgeon for Pcckham, 
wrote to the Daily Telegraph as follows : 


The statement was advanced several times that the new 
member was floated into the House on beer. . . . Lest 
others should infer from the words that the electors con- 
stitute a drunken community, may I, being in a position 
to know the facts, indicate them. . . . During the ten 
days of intense tension in canvassing and speaking, there was 
literally no insobriety. . . . The charges at the police 
station fell much below the usual low average, . . . 
and there was not a single assault case. ... In my 
opinion a high moral tone was imparted at the beginning by 
the presence on the Rye of the ladies who took part in the 
proceedings. Their dignified demeanour and cultured ora- 
tory made a profound impression, and I think this should not 
be overlooked when considering the result. 


Mr. St. John G. Ervine wrote to the Liberal organ, 
The Nation, on March 28th, saying: 

There is not a man in the National Liberal Club to- 
day who does not know that Mid-Devon was lost to the 
Liberals because of the adverse action of the militant 
suffragists, a fact which was patent even to the rowdy mob 
who rolled Mrs, Pankhurst in the mud when the result 
of that poll was declared. There is not a Liberal member 
to-day who does not dread the prospect of a General Elec- 
tion with the absolute certainty that he will have to fight, 
not only the usual enemy, but also a very determined body, 
which, at the present time, has no political creed other than 
that expressed in the three words " Votes for Women." 
I am wrong, there is one man who does not seem to realise 
all this, to whom Mid-Devon was not a warning, to whom 
Peckham will convey no sign of further trouble, the 
Premier elect, Mr. Asquith. . . . This Peckham elec- 
tion has been a revelation to me of the perfectly wonderful 
forces which the Women's Social and Political union are 
bringing to bear on by-elections. ... As a purely im- 
partial observer of the Peckham election I submit to you, 
Sir, and to the Liberal party, that it is time they started 
doing something for the women. The mandate might not 
have been there in 1906, but it most certainly is there now. 

Mr. Gooch, the successful candidate, stated : " A 
great feature of this election has been the activity of 
the supporters of women's suffrage." And even the 
Daily News, which published a correspondence from 
its readers dealing with the Liberal defeat at Peck- 
ham, stated in its issue of March 31st, that the ma- 
jority of the letters received referred to the action 
taken by the Suffragettes, 


Mr. Asquith Becomes Prime Minister. Defeat of 
Mr. Winston Churchill in North West Man- 
chester AND His Election at Dundee; Mr. 
Asquith's Offer and the Women's Reply. 

Owing to Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's con- 
tinued illness, Mr. Asquith had been acting as his 
deputy for many months past, and the Easter Holi- 
days were scarcely over when it was announced that 
he had become Prime Minister in fact, for the state 
of Sir Henry's health had compelled him to resign. 
The Ex-Premier did not live long afterwards. 
Though he had been converted to Women's Suffrage 
late in life when his fighting powers were always 
seriously impaired, there is little doubt that he spoke 
truly when he declared his disappointment af not be- 
ing able to do anything for the Suffragists when they 
waited upon him in deputation on the 19th of May, 
1906; and, if ever the secret history of the Govern- 
ment during that time comes to be written, we shall 
probably learn that, had he possessed the strength 
to enforce his will upon his colleagues, votes would 
have been granted to women that very year. Once 
when Annie Kenney and Mary Gawthorpe were trav- 
elling with Mr. and Mrs. Pethick Lawrence to Bor- 
dighera, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and they 
chanced to enter the same train and afterwards Sir 


APRIL AND MAY, 1908 223 

Henry happened to seat himself at the very table 
where Annie and Mary were taking tea. They at 
once introduced themselves to him and all three had 
a long talk together In the course of which Annie 
naively assured him, " You have no one in the Cabi- 
net so clever as Miss Christabel Pankhurst" Other 
things, too, she must have told him out of her loyal, 
earnest heart for, as she explained to us later, ** he 
looked so much happier afterwards," and we have 
been told by some who knew him that, when criti- 
cisms of the Suffragettes were subsequently made in 
his hearing, he would invariably protest, " Oh, you 
must not say anything against my little friend, Annie 

Mr. Asquith who had come to take his place, was 
a man of very different metal. He was one whom 
nobody seemed to like and the only reason for his 
having become Prime Minister appeared to be that 
he had the reputation of being what is called " a 
strong man," and what generally turns out to be an 
obstinate one. It was a significant fact that it was 
whilst he had held the reins of power during Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman's illness, that the prac- 
tice of treating the Suffragettes as first class misde- 
meanants had been abandoned. On the promotion 
of Mr. Asquith, a general move up to better paid and 
more Important posts took place in the Cabinet. 
According to the Constitutional Law of the country, 
the newcomers Into the Cabinet were obliged to va- 
cate their seats and to offer themselves for reelection. 
At the same time there were three elevations from 
the lower to the upper House, curtailing a choice of 
new representatives in the Commons by the constitu- 
encies for which the new peers had sat. Two va- 


cancies also occurred owing to deaths, and Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman's own seat at Stirling Burghs 
was soon vacant. Something almost like a miniature 
General Election was therefore sprung upon the coun- 
try, and the Suffragettes were compelled to marshal 
their forces simultaneously in no fewer than nine con- 

The election at North West Manchester, where a 
vigorous campaign was organised in opposition to 
Mr. Winston Churchill, who was endeavouring to 
obtain the people's sanction to his appointment as 
President of the Board of Trade, was the most 
hardly fought, and aroused the greatest interest. It 
was the scene of the first anti-Government struggle 
during which Mr. Churchill had angrily declared 
that he was being " hen-pecked " ; but the women 
had no need to go round to his meetings now, as they 
had done then, in order to attract public attention to 
their cause, for all Manchester was now wanting to 
hear about it. The Suffragettes had but to arrange 
their own meetings and the Manchester Guardian it- 
self was ready to publish a detailed list of them in its 

Mr. Churchill himself. Cabinet Minister though 
he was to be, could not obtain such crowded audi- 
ences as the Suffragettes. 

At the same time many Liberal women, dissatisfied 
with the behaviour of the Government and pro- 
foundly distrustful of Mr. Asquith, held almost en- 
tirely aloof from the contest while Miss Margaret 
Ashton, ^Qne of the most prominent, publicly stated 
that she would work no more for the Liberal Party 
until the Liberal Party were prepared to give her a 
vote. The Manchester Guardian wofully deplored 

APRIL AND MAY, igo8 225 

these defections; declaring that ** the Women's Lib- 
eral Associations were deprived in a large measure of 
their natural leaders " and tended ** to become as 
sheep without a shepherd," and Mr. Churchill now 
began to realise that the women's opposition was a 
serious matter. Therefore, asked at an election 
meeting on April 15 th, what he intended to do 
to help women to obtain the Parliamentary franchise, 
Mr. Churchill made the following statement: '* I 
will try my best as and when occasion offers, because 
I do think sincerely that the women have always 
had a logical case and they have now got behind 
them a great popular demand amongst women. It 
is no longer a movement of a few extravagant and 
excitable people, but one which is gradually spread- 
ing to all classes of women, and, that being so, it 
assumes the same character as franchise movements 
have previously assumed!^ 

Some people thought that the Suffragettes would 
be satisfied with Mr. Churchill's promise to use his 
influence, and would accordingly withdraw their op- 
position to his return, but Christabel Pankhurst at 
once addressed a letter to the Manchester press ex- 
plaining that the W. S. P. U. would be satisfied 
with nothing less than a definite understanding from 
the Prime Minister, and the Government as a whole, 
that the equal Women's Enfranchisement Bill would 
be carried into law without delay. 

When polling began at eight o'clock on the morn- 
ing of April 25th the Suffragettes took their places 
at the entrance to the booths in the midst of a heavy 
snow storm and remained there is spite of it, through- 
out the day. The excitement which had been grow- 
ing as the contest progressed was not confined to the 



poorer members of the electorate, but spread in all 
its force to the candidates themselves, and one of the 
Suffragettes was able to tell that when Mr. Churchill 
drove past the polling booth at which she was sta- 
tioned, he stood up in his open carriage, shouting 
and shaking his fist at her. 

During the counting of the votes, huge crowds 
assembled in Albert Square outside the Town Hall, 
and inside there was a large gathering of the more 
favoured persons. With pallid face the future Cab- 
inet Minister walked feverishly up and down the 
room and when the figures were announced and it 
was known that Mr. Joynson-Hicks had defeated 
him by a majority of 429 votes, the Suffragettes, al- 
though they were his opponents, could not refrain 
from pitying him, for he burst into tears and hid 
his face on his mother's breast. As he passed out 
of the room, Mrs. Drummond, always eager and 
impulsive, darted up to him and, laying her hand 
on his arm, said: ** It is the women that have done 
this, Mr. Churchill. You will understand now that 
we must have our vote." But he shook her off pet- 
ulantly saying, " Get away, woman 1 " Meanwhile, 
Mr. Joynson-Hicks was outside thanking the electors 
who had returned him to Parliament, and in the 
course of his remarks he said : ** I acknowledge the 
assistance I have received from those ladies who are 
sometimes laughed at, but who, I think, will now be 
feared by Mr. Churchill, — the Suffragists." These 
words were received with cheers. Next day all the 
newspapers were discussing Mr. Churchill's defeat 
and amongst others, the Manchester Guardian (L), 
the Daily News (L), the Morning Leader (L), the 
Daily Mirror (C), the Daily Telegraph (C), the 

APRIL AND MAY, igo8 227 

Daily Chronicle (L), and the Standard (C), ad- 
mitted that this was largely due to the opposition of 
the Suffragettes, whilst the Daily News now called 
upon the Liberal Party to bring this state of affairs to 
an end by granting the suffrage to women. 

Of course it was a foregone conclusion that a safe 
seat would now be found for Mr. Churchill, and 
that of Dundee, which happened to be vacant, was 
immediately offered to him. On his accepting the 
invitation, the Suffragettes' armies hastened North 
to oppose him, and Mrs. Pankhurst held a great 
meeting in the Kinnaird Hall on the evening before 
his arrival. One of Mr. Churchill's first acts on 
reaching the constituency was to address a gathering 
of Liberal women, for he was determined to make 
every effort to secure their help in counteracting the 
influence of the Suffragettes. Instead of expatiating 
on the greatness of the general principles of his 
party, and calling upon his hearers to support him 
on those grounds, as politicians had been wont to do 
in the past, he dealt almost entirely with votes for 
women, saying that there was a " general demand " 
for the suffrage on the part of ** a very large body 
of women throughout the country," and that the 
question had " now come into the arena of prac- 
tical politics." He asked to be considered as a 
friend of the movement, and added, *' No one can 
be blind to the fact that at the next General Elec- 
tion, Women's Suffrage will be a real practical issue 
and the next Parliament, I think, ought to see the 
gratification of the women's claims. I do not ex- 
clude the possibility of the suffrage being dealt with 
in this Parliament/' He refused, however, to give 
^ny pledge that those in power would take action. 


He went on to describe the Suffragettes, as ** hornets," 
and presumably referring to the by-election at Peck- 
ham, he said : ** I have seen with regret, some of 
the most earnest advocates of the cause allying them- 
selves with the forces of drink and reaction carried 
shoulder high, so I am informed, by the rowdy ele- 
ments which are always to be found at the tail of a 
public-house made agitation." 

Mr. Churchill's slanderous innuendoes in regard 
to the Women's Campaign at Peckham were not 
considered worthy of notice by the W. S. P. U., but 
Miss Maloney, a high spirited young member of the 
Women's Freedom League who had also taken part 
in that particular by-election, determined that she 
would force him to withdraw what he had said. At 
his next open air meeting she appeared brandishing 
a large muffin bell and warned him that unless he 
would apologise to the women, she would not let him 
speak. As he refused to do so, she carried out her 
threat. The Women's Social and Political Union 
regretted this action, because at by-elections they pre- 
ferred to fight the Government with argument alone, 
but the Freedom League upheld Miss Maloney, and 
she continued to make it impossible for Mr. Church- 
ill to speak in the open. On the eve of the poll it 
came to a pitched battle between them in which Miss 
Maloney triumphed. It had been arranged that 
Mr. Churchill should address a meeting at the Gas 
Works and " la Belle Maloney," as she was after- 
wards nicknamed, was speaking at the gates when he 
appeared. As before she at once called upon him 
to apologise, but, without answering, he passed on 
to enter the gates. She followed and though Mr. 
Churchill's friends strove to prevent her entering, the 

APRIL AND MAY, igo8 229 

crowd swept her into the yard. She had lost her 
bell in the rush but, quite undaunted, she darted into 
the shed where the meeting was to take place, and, 
whilst Mr. Churchill mounted a bench to address 
the workmen, Miss Maloney climbed up on to a 
pile of boxes directly opposite to him. Again she 
called for the apology, but he remained silent and 
the crowd burst into shouts and yells. At last, as 
the noise grew, the Manager of the Gas Works, a 
supporter of the Government, shouted out, " hands 
up all those who want to hear Mr. Churchill.'' A 
few hands, half a dozen or so, were all that were 
raised, and seeing this Miss Maloney cried, " Now, 
friends, who wants to hear me? " and when a great 
forest of hands shot up, in answer, she pressed home 
her advantage saying, " Gentlemen, the resolution 
has been put to the meeting and by a large majority 
it has been decided in my favour." Then she went 
on to explain what she had come for, but in the 
midst of her words, Mr. Churchill jumped up and 
repeated his earlier statement in a modified form. 
For some time she and the future Cabinet Minister 
continued shouting at each other through the uproar 
of the crowd. At last, white with rage, he turned 
tail and left the meeting to her. Thus, as the papers 
said, " the amazing episode concluded." 

Meanwhile the Women's Social and Political 
Union had been holding some two hundred large 
and enthusiastic meetings in the constituency each 
week, and on the eve of the poll they wound up with 
five monster demonstrations, four of which were in 
the open air and the fifth in the Drill Hall. Though 
the bulk of the Press throughout the country pre- 
ferred to give greater space to the account of the 


incident between Mr. Churchill and Miss Maloney 
with her bell, glowing accounts of these W. S. P. U. 
meetings appeared in the Dundee papers. The 
Referee for May 3rd also said: 

The women are doing wonderful election work and not 
getting half the credit for it that they deserve. Our way- 
ward Winnie does not underestimate them as a fighting 
force. The War Song of the conquering Christabel to the 
worsted Churchill is " Bonnie Dundee." 

" And Tremble, false Whig, in the midst of your glee, 
You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me." 

It was perhaps to guard against any falling off 
in the Liberal Majority that on May 7th, two days 
before the Dundee poll, Mr. Asquith announced in 
the House of Commons that the establishment of 
Old Age Pensions was to be the outstanding feature 
of the forthcoming Budget. On polling day, May 
9th, Liberal men and women stood beside the Suffra- 
gettes at the polling booths with handbills which were 
adapted from those of the Suffragettes, and read 
" Vote for Churchill, and never mind the women," 
and " Put Churchill in and keep the Women out." 

As had been a foregone conclusion, Mr. Churchill 
was returned by a large majority, but he received 
more than 2,000 votes fewer than Mr. Robertson, 
his predecessor, had done at the last election, and, 
whilst fifty-eight per cent, of the recorded votes 
had been cast for Mr. Robertson, Mr. Churchill only 
received forty-four per cent, of the total, and there- 
fore represented a minority of the electors. 

The figures were : ^ 

1 At the General Election there were two seats to be con- 

APRIL AND MAY, igo8 231 

Mr. Winston Churchill, Liberal 7,079 

Sir G. Baxter, Unionist 4,370 

Mr. G. H. Stewart, Labour 4,014 

Mr. E. Scrymageour, Prohibitionist 655 

At the General Election the figures had been : 

Mr. E. Robertson, Liberal 9,276 

Mr. Alex. Wilkie, Labour 6,833 

Mr. Henry Robson, Liberal 6,122 

Mr. E. Shackleton, Unionist 3,865 

Mr. A. D. Smith, Conservative 3,185 

The results of the other elections which had been 
fought meanwhile, were as follows : 
Dewsbury, polling day, April 23rd. 

Mr. W. Runciman (L.) 5,594 

Mr. W. B. Carpenter (C.) 4,078 

Mr. B. Turner (Lab.) 2,446 

Liberal majority 1,516 

The figures at the General Election had been : 

Mr. W. Runciman (L.) 6,764 

Mr. W. B. Carpenter (C.) 2,954 

Mr. B. Turner (Lab.) 2,629 

Liberal majority 3,'8lo 

Kincardineshire, polling, April 25th. 

The Hon. A. Murray (L.) 3,661 

Mr. S. G. Gannell (C.) 1,963 

Liberal majority 1,698 

tested, and every elector had two votes but he might only give 
one vote to each candidate. 


At the General Election the figures had be^n : 

Mr. W. J. Crombie (L.) 3,877 

Mr. S. J. Gannell (C.) 1,524 

Liberal majority 2,353 

JVolverhampton (E), polling day, May 5th. 

Mr. G. Thorne (L.) 4,5 14 

Mr. L. S. Amery (C.) 4,506 

Liberal majority 8 

At the General Election the figures had been : 

Sir H. Fowler (L.) 5,6io 

Mr. L. S. Amery (C.) 2,745 

Liberal majority 2,865 

Montrose Boroughs, polling day, May 12th. 

Mr. R. V. Harcourt (L.) 3,083 

Mr. Burgess (Lab.) i,937 

Mr. A. H. B. Constable (C.) 1,576 

Liberal majority 1,146 

At the General Election the figures had been : 

Mr. J. Morley (L.) 4,416 

Col. Sprott (C.) 1,922 

Liberal majority 2,494 

In the batch of by-elections which had occurred 
since Mr. Asquith had become Prime Minister, most 
of them as a consequence of the change in the minis- 

APRIL AND MAY, igo8 233 

tcrlal leadership, the Government had therefore 
suffered a reduction of 6,663 votes or more than 
eighteen per cent, of the total Liberal poll recorded 
in the same constituencies at the General Election of 
1906. Though the party leaders denied that the 
Suffragette campaign had affected any of the election 
results, there were few who had really worked in the 
elections who believed this and only Cabinet Minis- 
ters, newspaper editors and the Suffragettes them- 
selves could form any impression of the large num- 
ber of influential people who were writing to one or 
other of those three agencies to say so. At the 
same time a growing spirit of disaffection towards 
the Government was showing itself amongst Liberal 
women and Miss Florence Balgarnie's declaration 
that they had been " hewers of wood and the 
drawers of water for the Liberal Party too long, and 
that they must now look out for themselves," found 
a wide echo. 

An ominous resolution had now been set down 
on the agenda for the Women's Liberal Federation 
Conference on behalf of the Cuckfield Association 
which stated that " Unless Women's Suffrage is 
granted before the dissolution of Parliament, the 
time will have arrived for a definite refusal on the 
part of Liberal women to work at Parliamentary 
elections." These things, doubtless, led Mr. As- 
quith to receive on May 20th, a deputation of Lib- 
eral Members of Parliament who urged him to grant 
the few days required for the carrying into law of 
Mr. Stanger's Women's Enfranchisement Bill, which 
earlier in the Session had already passed its second 
reading by so large a majority. In reply Mr. As- 
quith said that he himself did not wish to see women 


enfranchised, and that it was impossible for the 
Government to give any time for Mr. Stanger's Bill, 
but he added, " barring accidents, I regard it as a 
duty, indeed a binding obligation on this Govern- 
ment, before the present Parliament comes to an end, 
to bring in a really effective scheme for the reform 
of our electoral system." Having referred to what 
he considered to be the defects in the existing elec- 
toral provisions, dwelling especially on that of plural 
voting, he explained that, though the Government 
intended to introduce a Reform Bill, Woman's 
Suffrage was to have no place in it, but that when 
the Bill had been laid before the House, those Mem- 
bers of Parliament who believed in giving Votes 
to Women might move an amendment to that effect. 
If this were done, he did not consider it would be any 
of the Government's duty to oppose such an amend- 
ment, because two-thirds of the Cabinet were of the 
opinion that women should vote. But though Mr. 
Asquith began by stating that the Government would 
not oppose the amendment if it were approved by 
the House of Commons, he went on to attach cer- 
tain conditions to this promise. These were, that 
any proposed Women's Suffrage amendment ** must 
be on democratic lines," and ** it must clearly have 
behind it the support — the strong and undoubted 
support — of the women of the country as well as of 
the present electorate." 

Christabel Pankhurst at once exposed the unsatis- 
factory nature of Mr. Asquith's statement through 
the medium of the Press. She pointed out that he 
had not shown sufficient reason for his refusal to give 
facilities for the discussion of the Women's Enfran- 
chisement Bill, and recalled the fact that after the 

APRIL AND MAY, igo8 235 

second reading of the Women's Bill had been car- 
ried, a London Electoral Reform Bill had been in- 
troduced by a private Member, and that the Govern- 
ment had promised to carry this latter Bill into law, 
if it should pass the second reading. The House 
had, however, rejected the London Electoral Bill, 
and the time which the Government had designed to 
give that measure might therefore be handed over to 
the Votes for Women Bill. In regard to the de- 
tails of Mr. Asquith's promise, she explained that 
women could not wait contentedly for the introduc- 
tion of the proposed Reform Bill, because, as Mr. 
Asquith had himself foreshadowed, in his words 
** barring accidents," some unforeseen turn of events 
might precipitate a General Election before it had 
been introduced. Even if the Reform Bill were ac- 
tually laid before Parliament the position of the 
Government with regard to Women's Enfranchise- 
ment was far from satisfactory. Apart from the 
fact that their refusal to make this question a part 
of the original Reform Bill was certainly insulting 
to women, the promise not to oppose an amendment 
moved by a private Member and carried by the 
House of Commons could not be relied on, because 
two conditions had been attached to it. The first 
condition was that it should be framed on " demo- 
cratic lines." But Mr. Asquith had not defined the 
term ** democratic " and there was reason to fear 
that the Government intended to resist the proposal 
to enfranchise women on the terms applying to men 
voters to which a majority of the House of Commons 
had pledged itself. Mr. Asquith was an anti-suffra- 
gist, and, according to the vague form of his state- 
ment, it was open to him to object to any and every 


amendment except one that was of so broad a nature 
that it could scarcely pass the House of Commons 
and would certainly be thrown out by the House of 

The second condition was that the women of the 
country and the present electorate should show their 
strong and undoubted desire for a measure of 
women's enfranchisement, but Mr. Asquith had neg- 
lected to indicate how this desire should be expressed. 
The Women's Social and Political Union contended 
that the women had already, by demonstrating, pe- 
titioning, and going to prison for their cause, shown 
a very strong and very earnest desire for the fran- 
chise, and that the electors in the by-elections had 
also shown their belief in the justice of Votes for 
Women. But Mr. Asquith had hitherto refused to 
admit that such a desire had been manifested, and it 
was possible that he would always refuse to recog- 
nise its existence. Even if, in spite of all obstacles, 
the Woman's Suffrage amendment were safely car- 
ried and secured a place in the Reform Bill, the Bill 
Itself was certain to prove a highly controversial 
measure. It was to deal with many other electoral 
questions besides that of Women's Suffrage, and if, 
as was only too probable, it were shipwrecked upon 
one of these, the Woman's claim to vote would go 
down with the rest. 

The opinion of Christabel Pankhurst and that of 
the other leaders of the Women's Social and Polit- 
ical Union appeared in the Press next morning and 
in the Conservative papers there were other warn- 
ings; the Standard plainly said, "Of course Mr. 
Asquith does not intend to carry such a change." 
But most of the Liberal papers upheld Mr. Asquith. 

Cartoon from Fwch on Mr. Asquith's false promise. 

APRIL AND MAY, 1908 237 

The Daily News called for a cessation of the mili- 
tant tactics of the Suffragettes and referring to Chris- 
tabel's objections said, " A more mature and experi- 
enced leader than Miss Christabel Pankhurst would 
have understood that the pledge which Mr. Asquith 
has given is quite exceptionally definite and bind- 
ing." The Star said, " The meaning of Mr. As- 
quith's pledge is plain: Women's Suffrage will be 
passed through the House of Commons before the 
present Government goes to the country." 

Events have already proved how rightly Christa- 
bel and the other Suffragette leaders had summed up 
the situation, for two General Elections have since 
come and gone and still women remain unenfran- 
chised and the promised Reform Bill has not yet been 
introduced. But at the time only too many women 
were deceived by Mr. Asquith's false promise. 
Lady Carlisle presided over the Liberal Women's 
Conference which met next morning. '' This is a 
glorious day of rejoicing," she cried. " Our great 
Prime Minister, all honour to him, has opened a way 
to us by which we can enter into that inheritance 
from which we have been too long debarred." She 
swept the majority of the women onward with her. 
A resolution of deepest gratitude to Mr. Asquith and 
the Cabinet was carried with every sign of enthu- 
siastic joy, and the Cuckfield resolution was lost by 
an overwhelming majority. 

Whilst the Liberal women were thus thanking the 
Prime Minister for his worthless *' pledge," another 
body of women were striving to expose his insin- 
cerity, for, before ten o'clock that morning, the mem- 
bers of the Women's Freedom League were at the 
door of number ten Downing Street armed with a 


petition asking for an assurance either that the Gov- 
ernment would give facilities for the passing of a 
Women's Suffrage measure or would promise to in- 
clude Women's Suffrage in a general Government 
Reform Bill to be introduced before the end of the 

Mr. Asquith refused to give an answer and sent 
out police to clear the women away. Eventually 
they were arrested and sent to prison for from seven 
to twenty-one days. 

Meanwhile at Stirling Burghs, the last of the re- 
cent series of by-elections, the Liberals were using 
Mr. Asquith's false promise to counteract the influ- 
ence of the Suffragettes. The Women's . Freedom 
League had wasted no time in making their protest 
to expose it and the Women's Social and Political 
Union had also proclaimed it to be worthless, but 
polling was already taking place, and on every news- 
paper placard appeared the words: "Premier's 
great Reform Bill, Votes for Women," and there 
was no time for the Suffragettes to undeceive the 

When the result of the poll was declared, it was 
found that the Liberal majority of 630, that had been 
cast for the late Prime Minister in the General Elec- 
tion, had been more than doubled. The actual 
Liberal poll had also increased from 2,715 to 3,873. 
Thus the constant falling off in the Liberal vote 
which had manifested itself through so many elec- 
tions was suddenly checked. 

Mr. Asquith's promise had done its work at the 
Stirling by-election and had secured the loyalty of 
the Liberal Women for another year. 

On Wednesday, May 27th, just a week after the 

APRIL AND MAY, 1908 239 

day on which it had been given to the deputation of 
Liberal members who supported Woman's Suffrage, 
Mr. Asquith was questioned in the House of Com- 
mons by Mr. Alfred Hutton, a Liberal Member, 
who was opposed to it. Mr. Hutton asked whether 
he considered himself pledged to introduce the pro- 
posed Reform Bill during the present Parliament, 
whether in that event he would give an opportunity 
for raising the question of Woman's Suffrage, and 
whether, if a Woman's Suffrage amendment to the 
Government Reform Bill were carried, it would 
then become part of the Government policy in rela- 
tion to the franchise. After some close cross-ques- 
tioning, in which he had tried hard to evade the 
point, Mr. Asquith finally replied, *' My Honourable 
Friend has asked me a contingent question with re- 
gard to a remote and speculative future." Thus 
was the hollowness of the vaunted pledge exposed. 

The Liberal papers still called upon the women 
to support the Cabinet, but in spite of this they 
showed that they found it difficult to uphold the 
trickery of their leader, and it was the Liberal Daily 
Chronicle that said " the skill and dexterity of the 
Prime Minister in parrying embarrassing questions 
was much admired, but not a few loyal supporters 
of the Government felt that the occasion was one 
that demanded candour rather than adroitness." 

JUNE, 1908 

How Mr. Gladstone's Challenge Was Accepted. 
The Procession of 13,000 Suffragists on June 13TH. 
The Great Hyde Park Demonstration on the 
Twenty-first of June, and the Demonstration of 
Protest in Parliament Square on June 30TH. 

The time was now approaching when the women 
were to take up Mr. Gladstone's challenge to them 
to show that they could rival the great franchise 
demonstrations which men had held in demanding 
the three Reform Acts of 1832, 1867 and 1885. 
In the Autumn of 1907, long before the challenge 
had been made, the Women's Social and Political 
Union had determined to hold a record meeting in 
Hyde Park on Sunday, June 21st, 1908. The 
greatest meeting that had ever yet been held there 
was said to have numbered 72,000, but it was de- 
termined that at the Women's demonstration there 
must be gathered at least a quarter of a million peo- 
ple. The organisation of this great project was the 
work of many months and a large part of this fell 
to the share of our devoted Treasurer, Mrs. Pethick 
Lawrence, her husband, and Mrs. Drummond who 
now began to be called our " general." Mr. Law- 
rence carefully thought out the scheme for the seven 
great processions which were to march into Hyde 
Park by seven separate gates. To Mrs. Pethick 


JUNE, igo8 241 

Lawrence was primarily due the introduction of the 
colours, purple, white and green, which the Union 
now adopted for its own. The colours at once se- 
cured a most amazing popular success for, although 
they were not even thought of until the middle of 
May, before the month of June arrived they were 
known throughout the length and breadth of the 

As Treasurer of the Union, Mrs. Lawrence bore 
upon her shoulders the special responsibility of meet- 
ing the very heavy cost of the demonstration as 
well as the other great expenses which were now be- 
ing Incurred; but that magnetic power of hers which 
had hitherto proved so invaluable to the movement 
was as infallible as ever. Whatever the sum she 
asked, it was immediately paid down. To make the 
forthcoming demonstrations known to everyone an 
immense poster, measuring thirteen feet by ten feet, 
containing the photographs of the twenty women 
who were to preside at the twenty platforms from 
which the audience was to be addressed, as well as a 
map showing the route of each of the seven proces- 
sions and a plan of the meeting place in Hyde Park 
was displayed upon the hoardings In London and all 
the principal provincial towns at a cost to the Union 
of more than £1,000. Our organisers stationed in 
various parts of the country arranged for thirty spe- 
cial trains to run from seventy different towns in 
order to carry contingents of women demonstrators 
from the various provincial centres. At the same 

1 Other suflFrage societies soon afterwards also adopted col- 
ours. The Women's Freedom League chose yellow, white and 
green, and the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies 
red, white and green, 


time London itself was systematically organised for 
the demonstration. My experiences as organiser of 
the Chelsea district which included also Fulham and 
Wandsworth, are vividly present with me as I write. 
At many of the open air pitches from which we then 
spoke, no Women's Suffrage meetings had ever been 
held before, but wherever we went our experiences 
were, in their main essentials, always the same. Our 
first meeting was, usually, almost wholly a fight to 
subdue a continued uproar. On more than one oc- 
casion the little box or the chair used as a platform 
was overturned by a gang of hooligan youths, and 
the meeting had to be abandoned. But, whatever 
may have happened at the first meeting in a fresh 
place, we always found that at the second meeting 
the majority of the audience were sympathetic. At 
the third meeting all was harmony, and we were 
generally seen to our homeward trams or busses by 
cheering crowds. 

Those splendid people, the Suffragettes of Ken- 
sington, not only contrived to carry on a constant 
campaign of meetings but at the same time to make 
all their own banners and bannerettes. 

In the meantime the National Union of Women's 
Suffrage Societies, in conjunction with a number of 
other organisations, had decided to organise a 
women's procession, and on June 13th, a week and 
a day before the Hyde Park demonstration, some 
13,000 Suffragists assembled on the Embankment 
and marched to the Albert Hall where a meeting 
was held. It was a striking pageant with its many 
gorgeous banners, richly embroidered and fashioned 
of velvets, silks and every kind of beautiful material 
and the small bannerettes showing as innumerable 

JUNE, igo8 243 

patches of brilliant and lovely colour, each one vary- 
ing both in shape and hue. Seventy of the large ban- 
ners had been prepared by the Artists League for 
Women's Suffrage. Some virere blazoned with the fig- 
ures of women great in history, amongst them, Boa- 
dicea, Joan of Arc and Queen Elizabeth; others 
bore emblems commemorating women's heroic deeds, 
or reforming achievements, — Elizabeth Fry, Lydia 
Becker, and Mary WoUstonecraft, being amongst 
those recalled. Walking in the procession were many 
of Lydia Becker's comrades and contemporaries, in- 
cluding the aged Miss Emily Davies, Dr. Garrett An- 
derson, and her sister, Mrs. Fawcett, the President of 
the National Union of Suffrage Societies. After 
these came a contingent of international Suffragists; 
Australians, Americans with their Stars and Stripes 
headed by Dr. Anna Shaw, and representatives from 
Hungary, Russia, South Africa, and other countries, 
each with their national flags and colours. The pro- 
fessional women were led by Mrs. Ayrton and other 
scientists and a great band of medical women in their, 
splendid robes of crimson and black, with hoods of 
purple, red and blue. Other graduates followed and 
the representatives of Newnham and Girton were in 
great force. Amongst the women writers, headed 
by the Scrivener's banner, were Beatrice Harraden, 
Elizabeth Robins and Evelyn Sharpe. Then came 
the artists, the actresses. Next, the nurses, all in 
uniform, and, af^ier these, a host of others, garden- 
ers, pharmacists, physical trainers, typists and short- 
hand writers, shop assistants, factory workers, and 
home-makers. Next came the militant Women's 
Freedom League, the Women's Co-operative Guild, 
the National Union of Women Workers, and the 


members of various women's organisations connected 
with the political parties Including the Women's 
Liberal Associations, and the women of the Inde- 
pendent Labour Party and the Fabian Society. Al- 
together the procession was acknowledged to be the 
most picturesque and effective political pageant that 
had ever been seen in this country, and every news- 
paper spoke of its impressive dignity and beauty. 

Now the Women's Social and Political Union and 
all whom they could press Into the service were busily 
engaged on a ten days' crusade for the winding up of 
the Hyde Park Demonstration campaign. How the 
women worked! They held innumerable meetings; 
they went out canvassing from door to door; they 
stood In the streets with flags and posters; they dis- 
tributed handbills broadcast ; chalked announcements 
upon the pavements and met the workmen's trains to 
give out little purple, white and green mock railway 
tickets, a million of which had been printed. On the 
Thursday evening before the Demonstration, Mrs. 
Drummond and a dozen other members of the Union 
set sail for the Houses of Parliament In a steam 
launch decorated with banners and posters announc- 
ing the Demonstration. At the little tables on the 
terrace many members. Including Mr. Lloyd George, 
were entertaining their lady friends at afternoon tea, 
when the sound of a band playing heralded the Suffra- 
gettes' arrival. Everyone crowded to the water's 
edge as the boat stopped, and Mrs. Drummond be- 
gan to speak. She invited all Members of Parlia- 
ment, and especially Cabinet Ministers, to join the 
womens' procession to Hyde Park on the twenty-first 
of June, assuring them that it was their duty to In- 
form themselves as to the feelings of the people. 

JUNE, igo8 245 

She twitted the Government who were supposed to 
be democratic with remaining always behind barred 
gates under the protection of the police, and urged, 
" Come to the Park on Sunday; you shall have police 
protection there also, and we promise you that there 
shall be no arrests." The Members appeared both 
pleased and interested and many more came flocking 
out to listen, but somebody, a waiter it was said, hur- 
riedly telephoned to the police and in a few moments 
Inspector Scantlebury with a number of officers ap- 
peared on the Terrace, whilst at the same time one of 
the police boats hove in sight. Seeing this, the Suf- 
fragettes steamed away. 

On Sunday, the 21st, we were busy early In the 
morning for the processions were to start between one 
and two ; the people were expected to begin to assem- 
ble at least a couple of hours before that time. All 
London seemed to have turned out to see us, and all 
along the Chelsea Embankment, which was thronged 
with people, were coffee stands, costermongers, and 
hawkers selling badges and programmes in the pur- 
ple, white and green. When the moment for start- 
ing came our Chelsea procession numbered some seven 
thousand people, but the dense crowds of by-standers 
marched with us too, and grew in a countless number 
as we moved along, so that, instead of one procession 
we had formed three — the central one being composed 
almost entirely of women, wearing white dresses and 
scarfs of purple, white and green, and carrying ban- 
ners in the same colours. The whole road was filled 
with people moving with us, and from balconies, win- 
dows and tops of busses people cheered and waved. 
The same thing was happening in each of the other 
six districts. At the head of each procession rode 


policemen on horseback and numbers of constables 
walked on either side of the ranks in order to keep 
the way clear. Six thousand police in all accom- 
panied the seven processions, the police authorities 
being most helpful and courteous toward us through- 
out the arrangements. 

In Hyde Park the railings for over a quarter of a 
square mile had been taken up for us in order to add 
a further open space to that which is usually open in 
the neighbourhood of the Reformer's Tree. In the 
centre of this meeting-ground a furniture van was 
stationed to serve as an impromptu Conning Tower. 
Those who stood there watching saw, first the fine 
procession from Marylebone with great crowds 
marching in on either side sweep into the quiet grassy 
space, and then, one after another, from the seven 
different gates, the rest of the seven processions with 
their accompanying armies come streaming in. Be- 
fore we arrived from Chelsea the whole ground was 
a surging mass of people, and it was with difficulty 
that we made our way to the platform which had 
been reserved for us. Once we gained it we clam- 
bered hastily on to our lorry and looked around with 
wondering and astonished gaze. As far as the eye 
could reach was one vast mass of human beings — 
not black, as crowds usually are, — but coloured, like 
a great bed of flowers because of the thousands and 
thousands of women all dressed in the lightest and 
daintiest of summer garments, whilst even the men 
had most of them come out in cool greys and were 
wearing straw hats. Over the whole of the area 
there was to be seen not a single blade of grass. 
Who could attempt to estimate the number of peo- 

JUNE, 1908 247 

pie that were present? They were innumerable; 
they defied calculation and there was no one of us 
who had ever imagined that we should see so many 
people gathered together. The sky was a perfect 
blue; the sun poured down on us; everyone seemed 
to be in holiday mood, just as they were in holiday 
dress, and during the time in which the people 
waited for the speakers to begin, perfect good hu- 
mour reigned. Then bugles were sounded from the 
Conning Tower and the speeches at each of the 
twenty platforms began. 

Probably less than half the people could hear the 
speakers, but that was of small account. They had 
come there to show their sympathy with Votes for 
Women and to take part in the greatest demonstra- 
tion the world had ever seen, and if they stood there 
the whole of the afternoon without catching a single 
sentence, they had been well rewarded. At most of 
the platforms there was nothing but the kindliest 
sympathy, except at the platforms of Mrs. Pank- 
hurst and Christabel, where a number of rowdy and 
ignorant young men attempted to prevent the speak- 
ers from being heard. 

At five o'clock the bugle sounded and the Resolu- 
tion calling upon the Government to give votes to 
women without delay was put and carried at every 
platform, in most cases without dissent. Then the 
bugle was heard again and the cry, " One, two, 
three 1 " and the assembled multitude, as they had 
been asked to do, shouted, " Votes for Women I " 
three times, and then that great and wonderful gath- 
ering began slowly to disperse. 

Next morning every newspaper devoted long col- 


umns to the demonstration. In the course of a long 
descriptive account the Special Correspondent of the 
Times said : 

Its organisers had counted on an audience of 250,000. 
That expectation was certainly fulfilled and probably it 
was doubled, and it would be difficult to contradict anyone 
who asserted that it was trebled. Like the distances and 
numbers of the stars, the facts were beyond the threshold of 

The Standard said : 

From first to last, it was a great meeting, daringly con- 
ceived, splendidly stage-managed, and successfully carried 
out. Hyde park has probably never seen a greater crowd of 

The Daily News said : 

There is no combination of words which will convey an 
adequate idea of the immensity of the crowd around the 

Tht, Daily Express: 

The Women Suffragists provided London yesterday with 
one of the most wonderful and astonishing sights that have 
ever been seen since the days of Boadicea. . . . It is 
probable that so many people never before stood in one 
square mass anywhere in England. Men who saw the 
great Gladstone meeting years ago said that compared with 
yesterday's multitude it was as nothing. 

The Daily Chronicle said : 

Never, on the admission of the most experienced observers, 
has so vast a throng gathered in London to witness an out- 
lay of political force. 

I i 

o ^~' 


JUNE, 1908 249 

After the great meeting was over, its organisers 
returned to Clement's Inn and Christabel Pankhurst 
immediately wrote to the Prime Minister forwarding 
the Resolution : " That this meeting calls upon the 
Government to grant votes to women without de- 
lay," which had just been carried by that great gather- 
ing. At the same time she asked " what action 
the Government would take in response to the de- 

Mr. Asquith replied that he had nothing to add 
to the statement — the so-called promise of a Re- 
form Bill, which he had made to the deputation of 
Members of Parliament on May 20th. 

The wonderful Hyde Park Demonstration, the 
greatest meeting that had ever been held, and the 
impressive procession of the Women's Societies both 
of which had been held within a few days' space had 
therefore, it seemed, made no impression upon the 
Government. Seeing, therefore, that to argue fur- 
ther would be mere waste of time, the Women's So- 
cial and Political Union immediately decided to take 
action. Hitherto, through all the hard battles which 
the Suffragettes had fought outside the House of 
Commons, they had never asked the general public 
to come to their aid, but, now that the great peoples' 
demonstration in Hyde Park had been thus con- 
temptuously ignored, it was decided to call upon 
both men and women to attend another monster 
meeting on June 30th, to be held this time in Parlia- 
ment Square, in order that the Government could 
not fail to see. 

The Commissioner of Police replied by issuing a 
warning to the public not to meet in Parliament 
Square, on the ground that danger would necessarily 


arise from the assembling of a large number of per- 
sons in that restricted area, through which the way 
must be kept for Members of Parliament. 

Meanwhile, the W. S. P. U. again and again 
urged Mr. Asquith to receive a deputation, but he 
still refused, and at last he was informed that the 
deputation would start from the Women's Parlia- 
ment on June 30th, and would wait upon him at the 
House of Commons at half past four that afternoon. 
Once more he returned a refusal to see the women, 
but Mrs. Pankhurst herself replied, as their leader, 
that the deputation would arrive at the appointed 
hour. Next day Mrs. Pankhurst, Mrs. Pethick 
Lawrence and eleven other women set out from the 
Caxton Hall. At the main entrance of the building 
Superintendent Wells was waiting with a body of 
some twenty constables and, at his orders, as soon as 
the thirteen women had emerged, the doors were 
locked and even the Pressmen begged in vain to be 
released. Then the Superintendent constituted him- 
self the leader and protector of the deputation and 
led them quickly through the cheering crowds who 
pressed forward pushing and struggling to catch a 
glimpse of the little band of women. Straight up 
Victoria Street he led them and right to the door of 
the Stranger's Entrance where they were met by the 
burly and familiar form of Inspector Scantlebury 
surrounded by his minions. He stepped forward and 
addressed Mrs. Pankhurst gravely, " Are you Mrs. 
Pankhurst, and is this your deputation?" he asked. 
She answered, " Yes," and he said, " I have orders 
to exclude you from the House of Commons." 
"Has Mr. Asquith received my letter?" she ques- 
tioned him in turn, and, replying, ** Yes," the In- 

JUNE, igo8 251 

spector drew the document from his pocket, adding 
in response to a further inquiry, that Mr. Asquith 
had sent no message of any kind by way of reply. 
Then Inspector Scantlebury turned away and walked 
into the House, leaving behind him a strong force of 
police to guard the door. For an instant or two the 
women stood there baffled, but they had to remember 
the resolve that this effort to interview the Prime 
Minister should be entirely peaceful. Moreover, 
there was the Mass Meeting of the evening. They 
therefore merely turned and made their way back 
to the Caxton Hall. Meanwhile larger and larger 
crowds were flocking towards Parliament from every 
direction, and long before eight o'clock, the time at 
which they had been asked to assemble, it was es- 
timated by the newspapers that more than 100,000 
people had collected in Parliament Square. The po- 
lice had made most extensive preparations to prevent 
any meeting being held and it was said that more 
than 5,000 ordinary constables and upwards of fifty 
mounted men had been requisitioned for this pur- 

When, at eight o'clock, the women sallied forth 
in groups from the Caxton Hall to speak to the 
great multitude that had assembled in response to 
their appeal, the scene was already becoming turbu- 
lent. There were no platforms to speak from, and 
it would have been useless to provide them, for the 
police would instantly have dragged them from the 
ground. But it is possible to hold a meeting without 
official sanction and to make speeches without plat- 
forms and the women bravely essayed the task. 
Some of them clung to the railings of Palace Yard 
to raise themselves above the crowd, others mounted 


the steps of the offices in Broad Sanctuary, others 
the steps of the Government buildings at the top of 
Parliament Street opposite the Abbey, whilst others 
again merely spoke from the pavement wherever and 
whenever the police would cease for an instant from 
driving them along. Every woman who attempted 
to speak was torn by the harrying constables from 
the spot where she had found a foothold and was 
either hurled aside and flung into the dense masses 
that were being kept constantly on the move or 
placed under arrest. Meanwhile, the crowd was al- 
ways* surging and swaying forward shouting out 
mingled cheers and jeers. 

Some groups of the men stood with linked arms 
around the women who were striving to make 
speeches, bodies of others pushed little band of Suf- 
fragettes forward against the rows of constables with 
cries of " Votes of Women," " we'll get you to the 
House of Commons," and " back up the women and 
push them through 1 " Again and again the police 
lines were broken and again and again the mounted 
men charged and beat the people back. Mr. Lloyd 
George, Mr. Winston Churchill, Mr. Herbert Glad- 
stone, Lord Rosebery and other members of both 
Houses stood in Palace Yard, and near the Strangers' 
entrance watching the scene. As it became dark the 
disorder grew, and gangs of roughs who supported 
neither the government nor the women kept making 
concerted rushes, sweeping the rest of the people on 
before them, absolutely heedless of trampling others 
under foot. In some cases isolated women were sur- 
rounded by them and with difficulty rescued from 
their ill treatment by the soberer and more respecta- 
ble members of the gathering. But, undaunted 

JUNE, igo8 253 

either by violence from the roughs or from the po- 
lice, the Suffragettes, though their slight frames were 
bruised and almost worn out by the constant batter- 
ing of those who were so much heavier, stronger and 
more numerous than themselves, still continued to 
address the throng. Every woman who was ar- 
rested was followed to the police station by a stream 
of cheering people and was saluted with raised hats 
and waving handkerchiefs. 

As Mr. Asquith passed from the House of 
Commons to Downing Street in his motor-car he was 
hooted by the crowd. He arrived home to find his 
windows broken, for Mrs. Leigh and Mrs. New had 
driven swiftly past the guardian policemen at the 
entrance to the street in a taxicab and had each 
thrown two small stones through two of the lower 
windows of Number 10 before an arm of the Law 
had been stretched out to drag them away to Canon 
Row. Meanwhile Miss Mary Phillips had endeav- 
oured to dash into the House of Commons by way 
of Palace Yard in the midst of a little company of 
Parliamentary waitresses but half way across the 
Yard had been seized and dragged back. Miss 
Lena Lambert had chartered a little rowing boat 
and had set off in the darkness to reach the House 
from the river side. Crowds of Members were 
lounging on the lighted terrace that hot summer's 
night when she and her little craft appeared out of 
the darkness, to urge them to determine that the sim- 
ple measure of justice, which was being so hardly 
fought for, should be carried into law. But not 
many words had she spoken, when the police boats 
swooped down on her and she was towed away, lest 
she should irritate and annoy the people's representa* 


tives by telling them of the battle whose dull roar 
nothing could shut out. 

So the night wore on and that weary fight con- 
tinued. Not until twelve o'clock did the police at 
last succeed in clearing the streets, and It was then 
found that twenty-nine women had been arrested. 

Next morning twenty-seven of the women were 
brought up at Westminster Police Court before the 
Magistrate, Mr. Francis, and were charged with 
obstructing the police in the execution of their duty. 
With the usual callous haste their trial was hur- 
ried through. The magistrate had always had all 
the political rights that he cared to use and woul^ not 
trouble to imagine what it is like to be without them. 
He testily brushed aside the defence of the women 
that the Government had driven them to adopt these 
methods of obtaining the franchise and that Mr. 
Asquith by his ignoring of the Great *Hyde Park 
Demonstration had taught them once and for all the 
uselessness of peaceful propaganda. The sentences 
ranged from one to three months' imprisonment in 
the second division. Mrs. Leigh and Miss New 
were dealt with separately at Bow Street but, as this 
was not generally expected, very few people were 
present. In the dimly lighted Court, with the 
magistrate in his high backed chair regarding them 
sternly from deep cavernous eyes, the two little 
women in the great dock with its heavy iron railings 
looked strangely forlorn. What dreadful sentence, 
we wondered, was in store far these, the first of the 
Suffragettes to deliberately throw stones 1 , Mr. 
Muskett in prosecuting them for doing wilful dam- 
age to the value of ten shillings at the Prime Min- 
ister's residence, spoke of them with extreme harsh- 


O 2 



JUNE, igo8 255 

ness, urging that they should be sent to prison 
without the option of a fine. Though the Magis- 
trate rebuked the women for the methods they had 
adopted, we felt that he was impressed by their de- 
meanour and that he was loth to sentence them. He' 
ordered that they should go to prison for two months 
in the third division without the option of a fine. 
The sentence was heavy enough, but lighter than 
we had feared in view of the fact that many of the 
other women were to remain in prison for three 

When the House of Commons met on the same 
afternoon, several members of every party in the 
House asked, as they had done on previous occa- 
sions, that the women should be treated as political 
offenders. As before, however, Mr. Gladstone 
sheltered himself behind the statement, which no- 
body believed, that the Magistrate was alone respon- 
sible for placing the women in the second and third 
divisions and that he himself had no power to in- 

On the morning after the " raid " the newspapers 
had mostly contented themselves with rebuking the 
women for what they had done, but in a few days 
there came a reaction of feeling which was acceler- 
ated both by the harshness of the sentences imposed 
and by Mr. Gladstone's refusal to mitigate the rig- 
ours of the prison treatment. 

The country was now overwhelmed by one of 
those terribly oppressive heat waves which come 
upon us suddenly from time to time and are borne 
with such difficulty in our usually temperate climate, 
and there gradually leaked out from HoUoway ac- 
counts of the Suffragist women fainting in the exer- 


cise yards ^ and being seized with illness in their 
cells. There happened to be some cases of measles 
in the prison hospital, and Miss Elsie Howey, hav- 
ing contracted the disease there, was exceedingly ill 
for many weeks. 

All these things combined to focus public attention 
upon the harsh treatment of the Suffragette prisoners. 
On July loth the Manchester Guardian in a leading 
Article said : 

It demands considerable obtuseness to believe, as some per- 
sons apparently do, that close confinement in the heat of 
Summer or the cold of Winter within a solitary and un- 
wholesome cell, deprival of exercise for twenty-three hours 
out of the twenty-four, subjection to menial authority, igno- 
rance of the welfare of one's friends, the performing of 
dull and alien tasks, deprivation of writing materials, par- 
tial suffocation and the wearing of ugly, ill-fitting clothing 
that has already been worn by the vilest criminals, are for 
delicate and sensitive women the elements of a comedy. 
They compose a great and terrible torture, . . . Be- 
cause they are suffering for an idea their stringent imprison- 
ment is indefensible. It violates the public conscience and 
the law and the courts cannot wage war on the public con- 
science without forfeiting respect and authority. 

1 The efforts of Dr. Mary Gordon (the first lady Inspector of 
Prisons, who had been appointed during the previous April, ad- 
mittedly owing to the publicity given to the condition of women 
in prison by the Suffragettes) now secured that when exercis- 
ing in the future the women should be provided with cotton sun- 
bonnets. By her advice the prisoners were also supplied with 
notebooks and pencils, but the latter privilege was afterwards 
withdrawn. Eventually she succeeded in abolishing the unsani- 
tary wooden spoon — at any rate, for Suffragette use. 

Mrs. Pankhurst and Christabel hiding from the police in 
the roof garden at Clement's Inn, October 12th, 1908 



Great Demonstrations in the Provinces. Mr. Lloyd 
George Accuses Women of Being Paid to Interrupt 
Him. Arrest of the Three Leaders and the Fifth 
Women's Parliament. 

Meanwhile, in spite of the fact that the Union 
had thought it necessary to again resort to militant 
tactics the campaign of great provincial demonstra- 
tions was proceeded with, and included gatherings of 
100,000 people in Shipley Glen, Bradford, on May 
31st, 15,000 at Heaton Park, Manchester, on July 
19th, of 100,000 on Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, on 
July 26th, of many thousands, also, on the Durdham 
Downs Clifton, near Bristol, on September 19th, in 
Nottingham Forest, on July i8th, at Huddersfield, 
on September 27th, at Rawtenstall, on September 
3rd, and in the Market Square Leicester on July 

During these months, by-elections had been fought 
in Pembrokeshire, Haggerston and Newcastle. At 
the first of these the Liberal majority was reduced. 
At the second a Liberal majority of 1,401 was turned 
to a Conservative majority of 1,143. At Newcastle, 
the Suffragettes swept all before them, and, when 
Mrs. Pankhurst announced to a great meeting on 
the Town Moor that five of the released prisoners 
were 'shortly to arrive, an immense procession was 
17 257 


formed to do them honour, and the railway author- 
ities placed the entrance usually reserved for Royalty 
at the disposal of the Suffragettes. Almost the 
whole population turned out to cheer the women. 
There seemed no doubt the Government nominee 
would be defeated, and so it proved, for a Liberal 
majority of no fewer than 6,481 votes was turned 
into a majority of 2,143 for the Conservatives. 

After the poll, Mr. Renwick, the successful candi- 
date said : ** I must express admiration for those 
who have addressed meetings on behalf of Women's 
Suffrage. They have taught us a lesson as to how 
to speak and conduct a campaign. I am sure we all 
wish that they may realise their hopes." The de- 
feated Liberal candidate also expressed the hope that 
the women would be voting at the next election. 

Meanwhile, at almost every meeting addressed 
by a Cabinet Minister throughout the length and 
breadth of the land, the Suffragettes had been in evi- 
dence, and when they had been unable to secure ad- 
mission to the halls, they had held meetings outside. 

At some of Mr. Lloyd George's meetings the 
women hecklers were treated with special brutality, 
and this was certainly increased by the exclamations 
of the Cabinet Minister on the platform. He 
called his interrupters ** sorry specimens of woman- 
hood," and added, ** I think a gag ought to be tried." 
So calculated to aggravate the already savage be- 
haviour of the stewards were his remarks, that quite 
a storm of protest was raised and Mr. Lloyd George 
found it necessary to write to the Times, saying: 

Owing to the constant interruptions to which I was sub- 
jected, it was doubtless difficult for me to make myself clearly 

JULY TO OCTOBER, igo8 259 

and fully understood, and the difficulty which I found in 
speaking was no doubt shared by the Press in reporting. 
Under these circumstances I am not surprised that some 
misunderstanding may have arisen, and I appeal to the 
courtesy of your columns to remove it. 

Nevertheless, when he spoke at Swansea, his re- 
marks were even more unguarded, and he urged on 
the stewards with such cries as, " By and by we 
shall have to order sacks for them, and the first to 
interrupt shall disappear," and *' fling them ruth- 
lessly out." At that there were shouts of laughter 
from Liberals on the platform mingled with cries of 
" frog march them 1 " Then he taunted the women. 
" I wonder how much she has been paid for coming 
here," he called as one was being dragged away. 
His supporters responded with cheers and shouts of 
" Tory money," and he added " I am sorry to say 
this business is becoming a profession." 

On hearing of this remark, Mrs. Pethick Lawrence 
wrote to Mr. Lloyd George as Treasurer of the 
Women's Social and Political Union to protest 
against his suggestion that the women who inter- 
rupted Cabinet Ministers did so as a ** profession." 
In doing so she forwarded him a copy of our Annual 
Report. He replied by repeating his insinuations 
and calling attention to the fact that the Report 
showed considerable sums of money to have been 
dispensed in '* salaries," " travelling expenses," and 
" special board and lodging." Mrs. Lawrence then 
stated that whilst, like every other political organisa- 
tion, the Women's Social and Political Union had its 
paid staff and organisers and that whilst these or- 
ganisers were occasionally present at Cabinet Min- 
isters' meetings, the protests were almost entirely 


made by members of the' Union who gave their time 
and work freely. Thus, of the thirty women who 
had interrupted Mr. George at the Queen's Hall on 
July 28th and had been ejected, twenty-nine had 
never at any time been in receipt of any salary from 
the Union, and of the five women who had taken 
part in the protest made at Swansea, four had never 
been in receipt of any salary from the Union and the 
fifth was not receiving any salary at the time. 

The eyes of all Suffragettes were now fixed upon 
the opening of Parliament for the autumn session, 
which was to take place on October 12th. The 
Prime Minister was again asked that facilities should 
be given for the House of Commons to proceed with 
the Women's Enfranchisement Bill, but he again re- 
fused and the W. S. P. U. then determined that a 
fifth Parliament of Women must be called together 
on October 13th, and that a deputation from it must 
again seek an interview with the Prime Minister. 
It was thought desirable that, as on the last occasion, 
the general public should be present, both that they 
might see what actually happened between the 
women and the authorities, and also that it might be 
shown to the Government that many thousands of 
men and women were prepared to support the Suffra- 
gettes and to answer to their call. Knowing well 
the difficulty of bringing anything prominently be- 
fore the public in these modern days of crowded 
interests except with the aid of the advertisement 
afforded by notices in the Press, and knowing also 
that in this epoch of Press sensationalism that noth- 
ing, even if it be as serious as a struggle between life 
and death, is reported except when it is new, the 
Committee of the Union cast about in their minds 

JULY TO OCTOBER, igo8 261 

for some racy and attractive means of drawing pub- 
lic attention to the forthcoming deputation. At last 
the phrase, " Help the Suffragettes to rush the House 
of Commons " was hit upon, because of its double 
suggestion and echo of the oft heard but almost al- 
ways ridiculously unfounded complaint that legisla- 
tion is being " rushed " through our too talkative 
and dilatory Parliament. The words were at once 
embodied in a handbill of which the accompanying 
illustration is a facsimile. 

Meanwhile another body of agitators who had 
become impatient with the Government's treatment 
of their own particular question, were preparing to 
take similar steps. Even in the early summer, there 
had been signs that the forthcoming winter was to 
be one of exceptional hardship for the working 
classes, and the Labour Members of Parliament had 
then begun to urge upon the President of the Local 
Government Board the need for making extensive 
preparations for helping the great numbers of per- 
sons whom they foresaw would fall out of employ- 
ment. The distress that had been foreshadowed 
was now upon the country, a feeling of general dis- 
content prevailed, and rumours of all sorts of wild 
doings were beginning to spread. Bodies of unem- 
ployed came marching up to London from the pro- 
vincial towns and held meetings on the Embankment 
and Tower Hill at which it was announced that 
there was to be a great gathering of the unemployed 
in Parliament Square on Monday, October 1 2th, and 
that an attempt was then to be made to see the 
Prime Minister, the President of the Local Gov- 
ernment Board and the President of the Board of 
Trade. On Sunday, October 4th, a meeting for the 


unemployed was held under the auspices of the So- 
cial Democratic Federation in Trafalgar Square, 
and some very inflammatory speeches were deliv- 
ered.^ The words of Mr. Will Thorne, M.P. for 
West Ham, were milder than those of some others. 
In the course of his remarks he said : 

Next Tuesday the Suffragettes admit that they are going 
to " rush " the House. There is nothing there. If you 
want to "rush" anything, you rush where. there is some- 
thing to be rushed; not the House. I say that if you are 
in earnest, the first thing that you ought to do is to rush 
the bakers' shops. You ought to rush every bally bakers' 
shop in London rather than starve. I suppose it means that 
a few of you will get locked up. You would be better off 
in prison. 

He added that until the unemployed struck " the 
fear of man " into the hearts of the Government, 
the Government would do nothing for them. After 
the unemployed meeting was over, there was some 
disorder in the neighbourhood of Charing Cross and 
two or three men were arrested. 

On Sunday, October nth, the Women's Social 
and Political Union held a meeting in Trafalgar 
Square at which Mrs. Pankhurst, Christabel Pank- 
hurst, and Mrs. Drummond spoke from the plinth 
of the Nelson column, whilst the police who were 
present in great numbers, took notes of all that was 

On Monday, October 12th, came the day of the 
unemployed demonstration, but, though much had 
been feared and expected of it, little happened. 

1 My authorities in these cases are the report in the Times 
and the evidence given in the witness box at Bow Street. 










TUESDAY Evening, 13th October, 

At 7.30. 

PxtBtad by 8t €9MB«itt Pmi, Ltd., N«inpap«» BoOdiiigi, Portagml Sttttt, W.0> 

JULY TO OCTOBER, 1^08 263 

Small groups of unemployed began to arrive in the 
Square at an early hour, but a pacificatory attitude 
was adopted by the authorities and though the police 
kept the crowd moving in the thoroughfares they did 
not prevent the assemblage of a number of people in 
the centre of the green in front of Westminster 
Abbey. Many of the men were allowed to enter 
the House, where Mr. John Burns assured them 
that within a few days the Prime Minister would 
make a pronouncement in the House of Commons 
pledging the Government to provide some measure 
of relief. 

During the week that had passed, the last before 
their demonstration, the Suffragettes had been work- 
ing strenuously. The " rush " hand-bills had been 
circulated broadcast, a " Votes for Women '* kite 
had floated constantly over the House of Commons, 
and a steam launch, decorated with banners and 
posters announcing the deputation had steamed up 
and down the river. Everything had gone on with- 
out let or hindrance and new recruits, anxious to 
take part in the demonstration had been eagerly pre- 
senting themselves. Yet from day to day there 
grew the knowledge that the authorities were lying 
in wait to take some suddeA step against the Union 
and the women began to notice that the police were 
shadowing all the prominent members of the Com- 
mittee and were constantly hanging about the offices 
at Clement's Inn. The blow came in the shape of 
the following document, a copy of which was served 
upon Mrs. Pankhurst, Mrs. Drummond, and Chris- 
tabel Pankhurst about mid-day on Monday, October 
1 2th: 


Information has been laid this day by the Commissionef 
of Police for that you, in the month of October, in the year 
1908, were guilty of conduct likely to provoke a breach of 
the peace by initiating and causing to be initiated, by pub- 
lishing and causing to be published, a certain handbill, call- 
ing upon and inciting the public to do a certain wrongful 
and illegal act, viz., to rush the House of Commons at 7 '.30 
p. M. on October 13 th inst. 

You are therefore hereby summoned to appear before the 
Court of Summary Jurisdiction now sitting at the Bow 
Street Police Station on Monday, October 12th, at the hour 
of 3 :30, to answer to the said information and to shew cause 
why you and each of you shall not be ordered to find sureties 
of good behaviour. 

(Signed) H. Curtis Bennett. 

It was felt that the summons had been issued to 
withdraw public attention from the deputation to 
Mr. Asquith which was to go from the Caxton Hall 
next evening. Therefore it was decided to disre- 
gard it for the present, but at the crowded At Home 
in the Queen's Hall that afternoon the members of 
the Union were informed that it had been received. 
The devotion and loyalty - to leaders, always so 
strong in the Union, was now at fever heat. Num- 
bers of constables were posted at the doors, official 
police reporters were present and it was momentarily 
expected that the police would force their way on 
to the platform and arrest the three. The excite- 
ment culminated when someone said that a police 
inspector was entering the building. Then hun- 
dreds of women leapt to their feet and cried out that 
the officers should not be allowed to enter and that 
they would never let them take their leaders. But 
this proved to be a false alarm, for it was only a 

JULY TO OCTOBER, 1908 265 

messenger to say that the summonses had been ad- 
journed until the following morning. Mrs. Pank- 
hurst, Christabel and Mrs. Drummond decided not 
to give themselves up till evening and they accord- 
ingly sent the following note to the Court : 

We shall not be at the offices at 4, Clement's Inn until 
SIX o'clock to-day, but at that hour we shall all three be 
entirely at your disposal. 

This did not appease the authorities in any way 
and a warrant for their arrest was immediately is- 
sued with an order to Inspector Jarvis to execute it 
without delay. Having guessed that this might 
happen Mrs. Drummond had quietly arranged to 
spend her last day of liberty with friends whilst my 
mother and sister had merely made their way to one 
of the upper flats in Clement's Inn, No. 119, which 
was rented by Mr. and Mrs. Pethick Lawrence and 
to which a roof garden was attached. This had 
scarcely been done when the police swooped down 
upon our offices to demand the three, and on no in- 
formation being forthcoming they remained roaming 
about the passages and standing in the doorways, 
trying to get information from postmen, porters and 
tradesmen, all day long. 

At six o'clock, Mrs. Drummond returned, 
promptly to the moment, and the two other pris- 
oners walked calmly downstairs and into the offices. 
Inspector Jarvis and a detective in plain clothes were 
already waiting and, after the warrant for their ar- 
rest had been read out to them, they were taken in a 
cab to Bow Street. The Court having risen, it was 
impossible for the trial to be proceeded with that 
evening and when they applied to be allowed out on 


bail until the next morning their application was re- 
fused and they were hurried away to the cells. The 
police court cells are about five feet wide by seven 
feet long, exceedingly badly lit and furnished only with 
a wooden bench attached to the wall and a sanitary 
convenience. There are neither washing utensils 
nor bed of any kind, but each prisoner is given a 
dark and dirty-looking rug in which to wrap her- 
self during the night. Mrs. Pankhurst at once 
claimed her right as an untried prisoner to communi- 
cate with the outside world and immediately de- 
spached telegrams to several Members of Parlia- 
ment. A weary hour or two went by. Then the 
door of Mrs. Pankhurst's cell was thrown wide 
open, and the tall, breezy presence of Mr. Murray, 
Liberal Member of Parliament for East Aberdeen- 
shire, appeared. He was horrified to find the three 
ladies in these unpleasant surroundings and, prom- 
ising to return soon, he hurried to the Savoy Hotel, 
and there arranged for various comforts to be sent 
in to the prison. Then he prevailed upon the 
authorities to allow the three Suffragettes to take their 
evening meal together and, in an incredibly short 
space of time, they were ushered into the matron's 

The bare little place with its dingy walls, its 
wooden chairs and two deal tables, had been won- 
derfully transformed. Numbers of tall wax candles 
had been lighted, the tables were laid with silver, 
flowers and brightly coloured fruit, and three wait- 
ers were ready to serve the prisoners with a most 
elaborate meal. At the same time, Mr. Murray, 
with his face wreathed in smiles, was superintend- 
ing the carrying in to the cells of three comfortable 

JULY TO OCTOBER, 1908 267 

beds. The management of the Savoy had thrown 
themselves into the enterprise with the greatest 
eagerness and, having acted throughout with almost 
overwhelming kindness and courtesy, ended by re- 
fusing to charge anything at all for what they had 
provided. As well may be imagined, the three com- 
rades were in no haste to finish the meal and return 
to the dark and solitary cells. 

Meanwhile there were stirring doings at West- 
minster. All police leave had been stopped for the 
day in the whole of the metropolitan area, and every 
mounted policeman had been called up to head- 
quarters. Parliament Square itself was cut off from 
the rest of London as though it were in a state of 
siege, by double cordons of foot police, each of 
them five deep, which were drawn up across all the 
streets leading to it. Within these barriers the 
great area, usually thronged with vehicles of all 
kinds and hurrying passers-by, was emptied of all 
but the few mounted police who rode about in it, 
the ring of their horses' hoofs sounding strangely 
sharp and loud, and an occasional wheeled vehicle 
carrying some Member to the House of Commons* 

Outside the massed ranks of police the whole 
population of London seemed to have gathered. 
The newspapers said that it was just like Mafeking 
night without the disorder. Members of Parlia- 
ment came out from time to time to watch the 
scene, amongst the spectators being Mr. John Burns, 
Mr. Haldane, Mr. Walter Long and Mr. Lloyd 
George, who came with his little daughter, a fair 
haired child of six years old. Soon a deputation of 
eleven women with Miss Wallace Dunlop a descend- 
ant of the great William Wallace, as their leader, 


marched out of the Caxton Hall with Mrs. Law- 
rence's instructions to oppose with spiritual force 
the physical force which the authorities had arrayed 
in such strength against them, ringing in their ears. 
A cheer from the waiting crowd greeted them as 
they gained the street, and though some fifty con- 
stables attempted to bar their passage into Victoria 
Street, the people swept them through. At last 
near the end of Victoria Street, they were met by a 
body of police and the Inspector in Charge asked 
Miss Wallace Dunlop that the deputation should 
wait for a few moments in order that he might bring 
up some mounted police to clear a way to the House 
of Commons. She agreed to wait until eight o'clock 
but when that time came the Inspector returned and 
said the deputation could not pass. Then, faithful 
to their trust, the little band of women pressed 
bravely forward and commenced their hopelessly 
unequal struggle with the police. In a moment 
their ranks were broken and they were scattered 
hopelessly amongst the crowd of constables and sight- 
seers. Before long a number had been arrested and 
the others were swept far away from their destina- 
tion. When the news of the first deputation's fate 
reached the Caxton Hall a second body of women 
numbering some thirty or forty, marched out to take 
their place. Like their predecessors, they too 
reached the top of Victoria Street where the 
mounted police were still waiting. Then suddenly, 
Mrs. Leigh, a slight agile figure in white, dashed 
forward from their midst and threw herself into the 
mounted line, seizing a police horse by the bridle 
with either hand. The horses reared and kicked 
furiously, the constables closed upon her and she was 

JULY TO OCTOBER, igo8 269 

flung to the ground. From time to time several iso- 
lated women succeeded by strategy in getting quite 
close to the House of Commons and one even found 
her way into one of the underground passages used 
by Members of Parliament. In every case they 
were captured by the police and either placed under 
arrest or dragged away and pushed outside the 
guarding cordons into the crowd. At last so fear- 
ful did the authorities become that the women might 
be concealed at other strategic points that they pro- 
ceeded to thoroughly search every corner of West- 
minster Abbey and with their lanterns were to be 
seen amongst the buttresses and pinnacles of St. Mar- 
garet's Church, searching for Suffragettes. Yet 
with all their vigilance they were circumvented, for 
one woman succeeded in outwitting everyone and 
entered the sacred chamber itself. The lady in 
question was Mrs. Margaret Travers Simons, Mr. 
Keir Hardie's Parliamentary Secretary, who, whilst 
a believer in the Votes for Women Movement, had 
never taken any active part in it. On her way to 
the House that evening she had been deeply moved 
by the violent scenes. As she sat thinking of them 
in the Lobby, and realising that the Suffragettes, 
struggle as they might, would never reach the House, 
the thought suddenly flashed across her mind that 
she herself had the power to make the appeal and 
protest which was impossible to them. Seized by 
an irresistible impulse, she sent in for Mr. T. H. W. 
Idris, the Liberal Member for Flint Boroughs, and 
asked him to take her to look through a little win- 
dow, known as the ** peep hole," which is situated on 
the left side of the glass doors leading into the 
House of Commons, and to which Members of 


Parliament had the privilege of taking their lady 
friends. He agreed, and, on reaching the window, 
she mounted a seat, which is in front of it in order 
that she might get a clear view of the chamber. 
After a moment or two she descended and Mr. Idris 
turned towards the outer Lobby thinking that she 
was about to accompany him. In that instant, she 
pushed open the double glass doors and, before any- 
one could prevent her, darted into the Chamber 
and rushed up the central aisle towards the Speak- 
er's chair, calling upon the House to ** attend to the 
women's question! " She was seized by one of the 
attendants at the Bar, a big, powerful man who car- 
ried her back into the lobby, and in a very short 
space of time she had been handed over to a police 
inspector, conducted out of the House of Commons, 
and allowed to go free. 

Outside in the street the conflict still continued 
and went on until midnight when it .was found that 
ten persons had been injured and treated at West- 
minster Hospital, and that twenty-one women and 
a number of men had been arrested. 

OCTOBER, 1908 

The Trial of the Three Leaders. Mr. Herbert 
Gladstone and Mr. Lloyd George in the Witness 

On the morning of October 14th began the trial 
both of the three leaders who had been arrested by 
warrant and the twenty-one women whom they were 
said to have incited to break the peace. Excited 
crowds early assembled in Bow Street, and besieged 
the doors of the Police Court, begging the unyield- 
ing custodians for admission. In the dark passage- 
ways and lobbies of the Court were numbers of 
women, imploring the officials to allow them to pass 
into the Court itself. The public enter by a door 
at the back of the room and here there is a space 
where visitors may stand. This space was now 
crowded with women, pressing closely against the 
wooden barrier which cut them from off the narrow 
rows of equally crowded wooden seats, where the 
friends and relatives of the prisoners, who could ob- 
tain the ear of some kindly officer, were allowed to 
sit. In front of these seats is the dock itself — a 
wooden bench some six feet long, empty as yet, and 
surrounded by a heavy iron railing on three sides, the 
fourth to be guarded by a policeman when the pris- 
oners arrive. In front and at one side of the dock 
are the benches for the Press, which that morning 



contained representatives from all the leading news- 
papers. In front of this again, divided by a barrier 
and on a lower level so that one sees little more than 
the heads of its occupants, was another bench where 
Mr. Muskett, the solicitor for the Prosecution who 
had so often appeared against the Suffragettes, and 
other minions of the law now sat. In front again 
and placed at right angles to this bench is the wit- 
ness box — a little wooden pen with a foolish 
wooden canopy which looks as though it were meant 
for keeping out the rain. On the right, opposite 
the witness box, are two rows of seats, each entered 
by a little wooden door, like church pews, where 
counsel and distinguished strangers sit. In the well 
between the witness box and these seats sit the re- 
cording clerks and other officials, and opposite to 
them, and facing the whole court is the Magistrate's 
high-backed chair and his table. Mr. Curtis Ben- 
nett, the Magistrate who was to try the case, sat 
there now, handsome and dignified, and looking the 
picture of a high-bred eighteenth-century squire. 

The familiar figures of Mrs. Pankhurst, Chris- 
tabel and Mrs. Drummond were soon ushered into 
the dock, and then Christabel began by asking the 
Magistrate not to deal with the case in that Court, 
but to send it for trial by Judge and Jury, her object 
being to secure that Suffragette cases should no 
longer be decided by a body of Police Court officials, 
whom we had every reason to believe were acting 
under the direct instructions of the Government 
against whom our agitation was directed, but should 
instead be submitted to a body of ordinary citizens. 
She urged that, under section seventeen of the Sum- 
mary Jurisdiction Act of 1879, she and her co-de- 

OCTOBER, igo8 273 

fendants were entitled to the option of being tried 
where they desired, and she wished nqw to state that 
they desired that the case should go before a jury. 
Mr. Curtis Bennett bent his head and smiled, saying, 
** Yes, yes, but we will go on with the case now." 
She pressed him to at once give an answer to the 
point which she had raised, but he replied that he 
could not do so until he had heard the case. 

Mr. Muskett, then rose to prosecute. Speaking 
quickly in a low voice and showing considerable irri- 
tation, he began by complaining that the defendants 
had failed to obey a summons to appear, firstly on 
Monday and secondly on Tuesday morning, to an- 
swer to the charge of having been guilty of conduct 
likely to provoke a breach of the peace. Then in 
the most fastidious manner and with clearly ex- 
pressed disgust, he proceeded to set forth the details 
of the case. He explained that, on October 8th, In- 
spector Jarvis had visited the offices of the Women's 
Social and Political Union and had there seen Mrs. 
Drummond with Miss Christabel Pankhurst. Miss 
Pankhurst had said, " What about the 13th? Have 
you seen our new bills?" and had produced the 
hand-bill which formed the foundation of the present 
charge. It was worded : " Votes for Women. 
Men and women help the Suffragettes to rush the 
House of Commons on Tuesday, October 13th, at 
7 :30 P. M." In showing this to Inspector Jarvis, 
Miss Pankhurst had said that the words " to rush " 
were not in sufficiently large type and that they were 
to be made much more distinct. 

On Sunday, October nth, the Defendants had 

held a meeting in Trafalgar Square, to which Mr. 

Muskett objected, because it had caused *' an enor- 


mous amount of additional labour to be thrown upon 
the shoulders of the police." At this meeting, he 
asserted gravely, speeches had been delivered by the 
defendants inciting those present to carry out the 
programme of rushing the House of Commons. 
" You will agree sir," said Mr. Muskett, " that such 
conduct as that cannot be tolerated in this country." 
Finally he asked on behalf of the Commissioner of 
Police that the defendants should be ordered to be 
bound over to keep the peace. 

Stout, red-faced Superintendent Wells, whom we 
usually found most friendly and obliging, now, look- 
ing very cross and uncomfortable, lumbered into the 
witness box. After taking the oath he gave evidence 
in regard to a visit of his own to the offices at Clem- 
ent's Inn. He said that Mrs. Pankhurst had then 
shown him a copy of a letter which had been sent by 
the Women's Social and Political Union to Mr. As- 
quith. This document pointed out that at many 
large demonstrations all over the country, resolutions 
had been carried, calling upon the Government to 
adopt the Women's Enfranchisement Bill and also 
that, at a succession of by-elections, the voters had 
shown unmistakably their desire that the Govern- 
ment should deal with the question without further 
delay. It concluded by asking the Prime Minister 
to inform the Union as to whether the Government 
would carry the Bill into law during the autumn ses- 

After the Superintendent had read the letter, Mrs. 
Pankhurst had told him that, if Mr. Asquith re- 
turned a satisfactory reply to it, nothing would take 
place on October 13th save a great cheer for the 
Government, but that, if he did not, there would be 

OCTOBER, 1908 275. 

a demonstration and the women would get into the 
House of Commons. " I said, ' You cannot get there 
for the police will not let you unless you come with 
cannon,' " the Superintendent went on, looking very 
imposing, and explained that Mrs. Pankhurst had 
then stated that " no lethal weapons " would be used. 
She had also said, " Mr. Asquith will be responsible 
if there is any disorder and accident." 

Superintendent Wells next described the meeting 
in Trafalgar Square where he had seen Mrs. Drum- 
mond distributing the *' rush " hand-bills. He said 
that he looked upon her as a " very active leader of 
the Suffragettes " and that she frequently wore a 
" uniform " with fhe word " general " or ** general- 
issimo " on the cap. He had told her that she and 
Mrs. Pankhurst would be prosecuted. When ques- 
tioned by Mr. Muskett as to the happenings of the 
previous evenings. Superintendent Wells said that 
traffic had been " wholly disorganised " in the vi- 
cinity of the House of Commons for four hours and 
that for three hours the streets had been in ** great 
disorder " ; that a very large body of police indeed 
had been required to maintain the peace, that ten 
persons had been treated at Westminster Hospital 
and that seven or eight constables and sergeants had 
been more or less injured. 

It was now Christabel Pankhurst's turn to cross- 
examine the Superintendent and he looked across the 
dock at her very nervously. She first questioned 
him as to the statement that had been made that she 
and her companions in the dock had broken their 
promise to appear at the court either on the Monday 
or Tuesday morning, and drew from him the admis- 
sion that he had not received any undertaking " in 


actual words." She then changed the subject and 
brightly asked him whether he was in the habit of 
feadirtg the official organ of the Union ** Votes for 
Women," to which he replied in the negative. 
*' You are not aware, then," she said, " that Mrs. 
Pankhurst wrote the following words: 

On October 13th in Parliament Square there will be 
many thousands of people to see fair play between the women 
and the Government. Let us keep their support and co- 
operation by showing them, as we have done before, with 
what quiet courage, self-restraint and determination, women 
are fighting against tyranny and oppression on the part of 
a Government which has been called ihe strongest of mod- 
ern times. It is by the exercise of courage ahd self-restraint 
and persistent effort that we shall win in this unequal con- 

" There is nothing very inflammatory in those 
words," she urged. " Does it really occur to you 
that those words were circulated to incite a riot?" 
But Mr. Wells shrugged his shoulders and answered 
gruffly, " I am not complaining of that article, I am 
complaining of those bills." 

Then she asked whether the crowd in Trafalgar 
Square was a disorderly one. He admitted that it 
was not, but at the question " are you aware that any 
member of the Government was there ? " he looked 
round at the Magistrate cautiously and said, " I do 
not know that I should answer that." " You can 
say yes or no," said Mr. Curtis Bennett, and when 
the query was repeated the reply came, ** I saw one 
there." "Was it Mr. Lloyd George?" said Miss 
Pankhurst with a smile, and at this there was laugh- 
ter in court, and even the Magistrate plainly showed 

OCTOBER, igo8 277 

amusement. Mr. Wells flushed redder still and re- 
mained silent. She next questioned the Superintend- 
ent as to the nature of the speeches in Trafalgar 
Square and the exact meaning of the word " rush," 
but he frequently took refuge in silence, and refused 
to be drawn. It was plain that Mr. Wells was not 
accustomed to being cross-examined by a prisoner in 
the dock and that he did not at all like it. Just as 
he began to hope that it was nearly over, she sud- 
denly changed the subject, and asked him whether 
he had been present when Mr. John Burns had made 
the famous speech which Jed to his arrest. " I was 
not," he answered, and she asked, " Are you aware 
that the words he used at that time were very much 
more calculated to lead to destruction and damage 
to property than anything that we have said? " " I 
am not aware of it," said Mr. Wells looking appeal- 
ingly across to Mr. Muskett. " You are aware 
however that John Burns is a member of the present 
Government and is responsible jointly with his col- 
leagues, for the action which has been taken against 
us?" "Yes," he answered, almost without think- 
ing. " You are aware of that, you are aware that 
the law-breaker is now sitting in judgment upon those 
who have done far less than he did himselt?" she 
said, pressing home her advantage. ** You are 
aware of thatf she repeated after a pause. But 
there was no reply. 

Next she asked whether the Superintendent had 
heard the Trafalgar Square speech of Mr. Will 
Thorne, M.P. in which he had advised the people 
to rush the bakers' shops? Mr. Wells felt on 
safer ground now, for this did not concern a Cabinet 
Minister. " I did not hear it," he ventured to an- 


swer, " but it was reported to me." ** Well, does 
it occur to you that his language was far more dan- 
gerous to the public peace than the language that we 
have used? " *' I am not complaining of your lan- 
guage," he again answered doggedly, " I am com- 
plaining of the bills." " Well, the language that 
was used on the bills, he spoke, he used the word 
' rush/ moreover he incited people to riot and vio- 
lence," she urged. " Does it occur to you that his 
action is more reprehensible than ours?" " It oc- 
curs to me," said Mr. Wells sulkily, '* that he might 
be prosecuted the same as you are." " You are not 
aware whether proceedings will be taken?" she 
asked with an air of pleased interest — but Mr. 
Curtis Bennett interposed to say that that question 
could not be allowed. Then she asked the Superin- 
tendent whether he knew that Mr. Gladstone had 
stated in the House of Commons that the proceed- 
ings against herself and her colleagues had not been 
instituted by the Government, but by the police. 
He tried to evade her, saying, " You have kept me 
so busily engaged that I have not had time to look 
at the papers this morning," but before he left the 
box he had virtually admitted that, in spite of Mr. 
Gladstone's denial, the Government was responsible 
for the prosecution. 

The next witness was our old friend, Inspector 
Jarvis with whom we had had negotiations in all 
sorts of matters connected both with our peaceful, 
and militant propaganda ever since our campaign in 
London had been started. He is a tall thin man 
with a pale, thoughtful face and is not at all like the 
typical police officer. As a rule he has the most 
kindly and courteous manners, but to-day he seemed 

OCTOBER, igo8 279; 

thoroughly ill-tempered and refused to look directly 
at any of us. He was called upon by Mr. Muskett 
to read the notes which he had taken of ChristabeFs 
speech at the Sunday meeting in Trafalgar Square 
and he did so in halting and expressionless tones : 

I wish you all to be there on the evening of the 13th and 
I hope that this will be the end of this movement. On 
June 30th we succeeded in driving Mr. Asquith under- 
ground; he is afraid of us and so are the Government. 
Years ago John Bright told the people that it was only by 
lining the streets from Charing Cross to Westminster that 
they could impress the Government. Well, we are only 
taking a leaf out of his book. We want you to help 
the women to rush their way into the House of Commons. 
You won't get locked up because you have the vote. If you 
are afraid, we will take the lead, and you will follow us. 
We know we shall win because we are in the right. 

Then, just as a child at school who does not under- 
stand the words, he read an extract also from Mrs. 
Pankhurst's speech: 

On Tuesday evening at Caxton Hall we shall ask those 
who support the women to come to Parliament Square. 
There will be a deputation of women who have no right 
in the House of Commons to a seat^ there such as men 
have. The Government — does not know — its own mind 
— it — changes — so, but we do know — that we want the 
vote — and mean to have it. When the people in Parlia- 
ment Square — 

But Mr. Muskett interrupted, he had heard 
enough. He went on to ask if it were not a fact 

^This, as Mr. Jarvis afterwards admitted, was a mistake; 
Mrs. Pankhurst really said that women had no representation in 
the House of Commons. 


that, on Monday morning, Inspector Jarvis had him- 
self served a summons upon the defendants to appear 
in court on the afternoon of the same day and on 
the Inspector assenting, he said, " I want to know 
about this question as to whether they promised to 
attend here or not.'- Inspector Jarvis hesitated, 
" Well, Miss Christabel,'* he began, " I saw her 
alone, and she said, ' We are not afraid, we shall be 
there.' " " Then," said Mr. Muskett, " I believe 
they were served with a summons to appear on the 
following morning at eleven o'clock." *' Yes." 
** And as they did not put in an appearance then, a 
warrant was issued? " " Yes." " And you had to 
wait there for them until they surrendered to you ? " 
Again the Inspector assented, looking very much 

Christabel Pankhurst began her cross-examination 
by closely questioning Mr. Jarvis on this very point 
and soon drew from him the admission that no 
definite promise had been made. As she was speak- 
ing to him his face cleared visibly and he generously 
owned that he had been mistaken. Similar evidence 
from a third Inspector closed the case for the prose- 

Christabel then applied for an adjournment and 
the Magistrate agreed to allow the case to stand over 
for a week. The three prisoners being released on 
bail for the time being. 

As soon as this had been decided Mr. Curtis Ben- 
nett said that he would deal with the cases of the 
women who had been arrested in Trafalgar Square, 
and seven of these were soon ordered to undergo 
from one to two months' imprisonment in default 
of being bound over for twelve months. As each 

OCTOBER, igo8 281 

woman was asked if she had anything to say for 
herself, she replied, " I demand a trial by jury." 
This seemed to annoy Mr. Curtis Bennett consider- 
ably and he became more and more irate until the 
fifth woman had spoken. Then he laughed and said, 
** I see this has evidently been arranged beforehand.'* 
It was unfortunate for the fourth woman that he 
had not recovered his temper earlier for, though a 
first offender arrested for doing practically nothing, 
she received a sentence of two months' imprisonment, 
whilst one month only was served out to others of 
the same class. Mrs. Leigh, as this was the third 
time that she had been charged, received a sentence 
of three months. Thirteen of the Suffragettes 
pleaded that they wished to obtain legal advice, and 
were remanded for a week, at the end of which time 
milder methods obtained, for their sentences ranged 
merely from three weeks to one month. 

Next day, Thursday, October 15th, a summons was 
issued against Mr. Will Thorne, M.P. for inciting 
the unemployed to rush the bakers' shops, and when 
his case came up on the 21st, he expressed the be- 
lief that no summons would have been issued against 
him but for the remarks made by Christabel Pank- 
hurst during the Suffragette trial. He declared that 
in speaking as he had done his object had been to 
persuade the unemployed not to take part in the 
Women's Demonstration in Parliament Square, be- 
cause he felt sure that they would get into trouble if 
they did so, and urged that his speech had been taken 
too literally. Mr. Curtis Bennett, however, ordered 
him to be bound over in his own recognisances of 
£200 and two sureties of £100 each to be of good 
behaviour for twelve months or in default to go to 



prison for six months. Mr. Thorne agreed to be 
bound over. 

On Wednesday, October 21st, the trial of the Suf- 
fragette leaders again came on and, whilst the Court 
was just as crowded, the Press seats were even fuller 
than before. Mr. Curtis Bennett seemed more than 
ever dignified and magisterial. Everyone waited 
with impatience and presently there was a stir in the 
court, and, with much ceremony, some of the officers 
opened the door by which the prisoners usually enter 
and ushered in a group of gentlemen, who seated 
themselves in the pew-like benches reserved for coun- 
sel and distinguished persons. Then, preceded by a 
stout, black-bearded gaoler, and with three or four 
police on either side of them, the three Suffragettes 
made their way into the dock. As soon as they had 
seated themselves, Mr. Muskett rose and said in his 
usual rather peevish and very indistinct tones that 
the case for the Prosecution had been concluded on 
the previous Wednesday. 

After a short preliminary argument as to legal 
forms between Christabel and the Magistrate and a 
pledge that she should be allowed to submit her ob- 
jections later, there was a slight scuffling in those 
important side benches, the pew doors were opened, 
two of the gentlemen who had accompanied him 
stepped aside and Mr. Lloyd George, Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, came forward and passed across the 
court into the witness box. 

Seen for the first time, he is totally unlike what 
one has been led to expect. Instead of the roman- 
tic-looking Welsh bard, with black and very curly 
hair, portrayed by the newspaper cartoons and draw- 
ings, there stood, cooped up In the little witness box, 

OCTOBER, 1908 283 

with its useless-looking wooden canopy, a plain little 
man, with a pale face, a long untidy moustache and 
hair which, though he wears it somewhat long, as 
it is in the pictures, has not the least suspicion of a 
curl but lies limp and scanty and is a dull dingy 
brown. At first he leant his arm on the front of the 
witness box and looked across at the three prisoners 
in the dock. He regarded Christabel Pankhurst 
curiously, as well he might, for, in her fresh white 
muslin dress whose one note of colour was the broad 
band of purple white and green stripes around her 
waist, with her soft brown hair uncovered, the little 
silky curls with just a hint of gold in them clustering 
about her neck, and, in this dingy place, her skin 
looking even more brilliantly white and those rose 
petal cheeks of hers even more exquisitely and viv- 
idly flushed with purest pink than usual, she was as 
bright and dainty as a newly opened flower, and with 
all her look of perfect health and vigour, appeared 
so slender and so delicately knit as to have little 
more of substance in her than a briar rose. But 
she was to triumph over her opponent in the witness 
box, not by her grace and freshness and by the outer 
aspect of her vivid glowing personality, but by her 
sparkling wit, her biting sarcasm and by the force 
and depth of her arguments. And these went home, 
not merely as they can be set down here in cold dull 
print, but far more truly, because they were en- 
hanced by the ever«hanging eloquence of gesture, 
voice, and facial expression — by a lift of the 
eyebrows, a turn of the head, a heightening of the 
lovely rose colour that flooded sometimes as far as 
the white throat and as quickly ebbed again, a sweep 
of the slender hand or a turn of that slight virile 


frame. All these, because so perfectly they echoed 
and expressed her thoughts, could lend to even the 
baldest and tritest words, a fanciful humour, a deli- 
cate irony, or. an inexorable force. 

As she rose to examine Mr. Lloyd George, she 
began quite formally, but with a cheerful and pleas- 
ant manner asking whether he had been present at 
the Trafalgar Square meetings on October nth? 
and whether he had seen a copy of the bills which 
were being distributed? "Yes," he replied, with 
just the least suspicion of a smile, " a young lady 
gave one to me the moment I arrived. It invited 
me to rush the House of Commons." " How did 
you interpret the invitation conveyed to you as a 
member of the audience ? " she asked next with a 
brisk business-like air. " What did you think we 
wanted you to do?" He replied pompously, "I 
really should not like to place an interpretation upon 
the document. I do not think it is quite my func- 
tion." " Well, I am speaking to you as a member 
of the general public," she urged, refusing to be put 
off. " Imagine you were not at the meeting at all, 
but were walking up the Strand, and someone gave 
you a copy of this Bill, and you read it — -* Help the 
Suffragettes to rush the House of Commons.' And 
suppose you forgot you were a member of the Gov- 
ernment and regarded yourself just as an ordinary 
person like myself — ^^ quite unofficial," she added, 
smiling, and with a little quick shake of her shoul- 
ders. " What would you think you were called 
upon to do?" "Really, I should not like to be 
called upon to undertake so difficult a task as to in- 
terpret that document," was the tart reply, but 
Christabel went on. persuasively, " Now this word 

Miss Christabel Fankhurst questioning 
Mr. Herbert Gladstone 

OCTOBER, 1908 285 

* rush,' which seems to be at the bottom of it all, 
what does it mean? " She waited with parted lips 
and raised eyebrows for a reply. It came unwill- 
ingly. " I understood the invitation from Mrs. 
Pankhurst was to force an entrance to the House of 
Commons." " No, no, I want you to keep your 
mind concentrated on the bill," she corrected. " Let 
us forget what Mrs. Pankhurst said. What did the 
Bill say? " " I really forget what the Bill said," he 
snapped out sharply. She repeated the phrase to 
him graciously — " Help the Suffragettes to rush the 
House of Commons." " Yes, that is it," he as- 
sented, and she said, " I want you to define the word 

* rush.' " " I cannot undertake to do that." " You 
cannot?" she asked incredulously. "No, Miss 
Pankhurst, I cannot." " Well," she replied, I will 
suggest some definitions to you. " I find that in 

* Chambers' English Dictionary ' one of the mean- 
ings of the word is * an eager demand.' Now, what 
do you think of that? " " I cannot enter into com- 
petition with * Chambers' Dictionary.' I am pre- 
pared to accept it," he said stolidly. 

Mr. Lloyd George was beginning to turn his head 
away from her and to show every sign of unwilling- 
ness to continue answering. Her imperturbable 
good humour made the situation harder for him to 
bear. As Max Beerbohm in the Saturday Review 
said, ** His Celtic fire burned very low; and the con- 
trast between the buoyancy of the girl and the de- 
pression of the statesman was almost painful. 
Youth and an ideal, on the one hand, and on the 
other, middle age and no illusions left over." 

But Christabel appeared not to notice his discom- 
fiture : " * Urgent pressure of business.' That is 


another meaning. Now, if you were asked to help 
the Suffragettes to make an eager demand to the 
House of Commons that they should give votes to 
women, would you feel that we were calling upon 
you to do an illegal act? " " That is not for me to 
say." Here Mr. Curtis Bennett interposed. " The 
witness is perfectly right. This is for me to say 
on the evidence. I have not interfered so far,'* 
but Christabel went on unheedingly and continued 
gravely reading from her list of definitions. 
" There is another sense in which the word * rush ' 
is used and I think it will be of some interest to you. 
We use it in this connexion, to * rush ' Bills through 
Parliament." Mr. Lloyd George smiled in spite of 
himself. " Yes, I think I have some experience of 
thatl " he said. " * On the rush ' we are told in an- 
other dictionary means * in a hurry.' There is noth- 
ing unlawful in being in a hurry." Mr. Lloyd 
George shook himself impatiently, and the Magis- 
>trate again interposed; this time with more severity. 
** I have already said you must address those re- 
marks to me afterwards." But quite impassively 
she held to her point and with her eyes upon the 
witness continued, " Did you understand* you were 
asked to go in a hurry to the House of Commons to 
make this eager demand for enfranchisement? Was 
that the meaning which the Bill conveyed to you? " 
In spite of his remonstrances Mr. Curtis Bennett 
was evidently enjoying the scene, and his eyes twin- 
kled as he listened to the quickly and pleasantly di- 
rected questions and to the slow, grudging replies. 
Mr. George kept glancing at him angrily, and again 
looking severe he said at last, ** Miss Pankhurst, you 
must take my ruling, please." 

OCTOBER, 1908 . 287 

At this she changed her tack a little, questioning 
Mr. Lloyd George as to the speeches he had heard 
in Trafalgar Square and the demeanour of the crowd 
and always making her inquiries with a polite air 
of expectation that valuable fnformation would be 
forthcoming. When Mr. Lloyd George admitted 
that he had heard some part of Miss Pankhurst's 
speech, Christabel gravely inquired whether her 
mother had threatened violence to any member of 
the Government. " She did not invite the audience 
to attack you in any way? " she asked. Then grad- 
ually, through his fear of being made to appear ridic- 
ulous, she brought him to admit that he had thought 
that, if the public responded to the invitation to 
" rush " the House of Commons, the consequences 
would not be formidable and that there had been no 
suggestion either that public or private property 
should be damaged or that any personal violence 
should be done. 

Then she suddenly asked, " There were no words 
used so likely to incite to violence as the advice you 
gave at Swansea, that the women should be ruth- 
lessly flung out of your meeting? " This was unex- 
pected. Mr. Lloyd George frowned and remained 
silent. Mr. Muskett stood up and appealed to the 
Magistrate who interposed as was expected of him. 
" This is quite irrelevant. That was a private 
meeting, and not of the same character," he said re- 
provingly. Christabel shook her head. " It was a 
public meeting," she insisted. The Magistrate 
waved his hand. " Well, private in a sense. 
** They are private now-a-days, that is quite true, 
she said pointedly, and obviously referring to the fact 
that ticket meetings only were now addressed by 



Cabinet Ministers, all women with a few selected ex- 
ceptions being rigidly excluded. Then she went on 
to question Mr. Lloyd George as to the reason for 
which the " rush " had been planned, but he obsti- 
nately refused to answer. 

Turning to the events during the so-called " rush " 
on October 13 th, she elicited the fact that Mr. Lloyd 
George had taken his little six-year-old daughter 
with him to watch the scene. " She was very 
amused," he said with a malicious air. *' You 
thought it was quite safe for a child of those tender 
years to be amongst the crowd?" asked Christabel, 
and this time it was her turn to be a little severe. 
** I was not amongst the crowd," he snapped, and 
later, as if anxious to justify himself, added, " You 
see, I only brought her from Downing Street to the 
House, and I think that was clear." " The Prose- 
cution asserts that a serious breach of the peace took 
place," was her next question. " Do you agree with 
that statement? " 

The Magistrate interrupted, " The Chancellor of 
the Exchequer would have nothing to do with that," 
he said. "I believe you are a lawyer?" with a 
quick change of front, she asked, turning politely to 
Mr. Lloyd George. "Well, I hope I am," he an- 
swered with a surly air. " Don't you think the 
offence alleged against us would be more properly 
described as ' Unlawful Assembly ' ? " " There 
again, I was not put in the witness box to express an 
opinion of that sort," he objected and the Magis- 
trate again supported him. She made another at- 
tempt: "You have seen the form of summons 
against us? " but he protested that he had not and 

OCTOBER, igo8 289 

did not know with what offence the prisoners were 
charged. She explained to him the form of the 
summons and explained that, owing to this, the de- 
fendants were denied the right of trial by jury. He 
merely replied, " I take it from you, Miss Pankhurst, 
but I do not know." 

An awkward question for Mr. Lloyd George was : 
** Do you think that coercion is the right way of 
dealing with political disorders? " He remained si- 
lent, and the Magistrate tried to help him out, say- 
ing, ** It is not for the witness to express an opinion." 
Christabel looked full at Mr. Lloyd George, asking, 
** You refuse to answer? " ** I do not refuse to an- 
swer," he said, not very honestly, " but I must obey 
the decision of the Bench that I cannot express an 
opinion about things in the witness box." " Am I 
to understand that an answer must not be given to 
that?" she appealed to the Magistrate. He re- 
plied, *' No." "-Not even if the witness would like 
to do it?" "No," he said, but she tried again. 
** Well, is it likely to be a successful way of dealing 
with political disturbances?" But the Magistrate 
said, " That again, is not admissible." " But for 
these restrictions, your Worship — she broke out 
with some heat, but he waved her aside and she 
understood that he was implacable, so she turned 
cheerfully to the witness and said, " Can you tell me 
whether any interference with public order took 
place in connexion with previous movements for 
franchise reform?" "I should have thought that 
that was an historical fact, Miss Pankhurst," he re- 
plied. Again the Magistrate interposed to save 
him. " That is cross-examination. The witness 


cannot go into that." " In a sense he is my wit- 
ness," she «aid, but though Mr. Xurtis Bennett 
smiled, he replied, " In every sense at present." 

Nevertheless he had evidently seen the justice of 
the remark and he did not object when a similar 
question was now put. It was : *' Have we not re- 
ceived encouragement from you, or if not from you, 
from your colleagues to take action of this kind? " 
" I should be very much surprised to hear that. Miss 
Pankhurst." Mr. George gave his answer pom- 
pously. " You deny that we have been encouraged 
by Liberal statesmen to take action of this kind? " 
she said eagerly. " I simply express astonishment 
at the statement," he said casting up his eyes with an 
exaggerated, but not very convincing air of indigna- 
tion. " Have you ever heard these words spoken by 
us at Trafalgar Square or by any Liberal statesman : 

I am sorry to say that if no instructions had ever been 
addressed in political crises to the people of this country 
except to remember to hate violence, to love order, and to 
exercise patience, the liberties of this country would never 
have been attained. 

"Have you ever heard those words before?" 
" I cannot call them to mind." At this reply there 
was a sensation in the court, silent, but clearly felt. 
" Those were the words of William Ewart Glad- 
stone," said Christabel. " I accept your statement, 
Miss Pankhurst," was Mr. Lloyd George's reply, 
and when asked whether he was aware that in 1884 
Mr. Chamberlain had threatened to march 100,000 
men on London, he again replied, " I do not know." 

Christabers next question carried the war fur- 
ther into the enemy's country. " Is it not a fact that 

OCTOBER, igo8 291 

you yourself have set us an example of revolt?" 
she asked, but Mr. Curtis Bennett interposed to say 
that the Chancellor need not answer that question, 
and that she must not attack her own witness. 
Whilst they were arguing^ Mr. Lloyd George him- 
self burst in. " I never incited a crowd to violence," 
he said hotly, as though this form of defence had 
only just occurred to him. ** Not in 'the Welsh 
Grave Yard case?" she asked. "No I" he said. 
" You did not tell them to break down a wall and 
disinter a body? " " I gave advice which was 
found by the Court of Appeal to be sound legal ad- 
vice," he said snappishly, and again almost turning 
his back upon her. ^' We think that we are giving 
sound advice too," she said. 

After this Mr. Lloyd George became less and less 
ready to give any reply, and his angry eyes were con- 
tinually calling for the Magistrate's intervention. 

Miss Pankhurst then cited passages from " Taylor 
on Evidence," to show that more latitude could be 
allowed in questioning a witness who obviously ap- 
peared to be hostile or interested for the other party, 
or unwilling to give evidence, but Mr. Curtis Ben- 
nett declared that none of these descriptions could 
be applied to Mr. Lloyd George. So, with a ges- 
ture of protest, Christabel said, *' I think I need not 
trouble him with any further questions." 

After some questioning by Mrs. Pankhurst to which 
Mr. Lloyd George returned the scantiest and most 
surly of replies, Mrs. Drummond said earnestly but 
with a touch of humour in her voice. 

" I should like to ask Mr. Lloyd George this ques- 
tion; many times he has refused to answer me. 
When do you intend to put a stop to these things by 


giving us the vote? '' Shrugging his shoulders, Mr. 
Lloyd George turned to the Magistrate who gave 
the desired reply: " That is not a question for the 
witness." Mrs. Drummond added, after a pause, 
quietly and reproachfully: ** You and your col- 
leagues are much to blame for this agitation." 
" You must not make a statement," said the Magis- 
trate." ** You see, we never get a chance at other 
times," said Mrs. Drummond appealingly. At this 
Mr. George smiled broadly, but not very pleasantly, 
and shaking his head said, ** Indeed you do 1 " as he 
left the box. 

Mr. Curtis Bennett now told Christabel that he 
wished her to call Mr. Herbert Gladstone in order 
that the Home Secretary might not be detained 
from his duties in the House unnecessarily but she 
declared that it was absolutely essential that she 
should first call one other witness. Mr. Curtis 
Bennett protested and she said, " I have only one 
question to put to this lady." *' Very well then, one 
question," he said smiling as though he scarcely be- 
lieved her, and one could plainly see, determining 
to hold her to her word. Christabel then called 
" Miss Marie Brackenbury," who stepped quietly into 
the box. Christabel gently asked her whether it were 
true that she had suffered six weeks' imprisonment in 
connexion with this agitation and as soon as she had 
assented said quickly, but in a clear, penetrating 
voice, " Did Mr. Horace Smith tell you in senten- 
cing you to that term he was doing what he was 
told?" "You must not put that question 1" al- 
most shouted the Magistrate. But the witness had 
already replied, ** He did." " The witness has said 

OCTOBER, igo8 293 

* yes,' upon oath," said Miss Pankhurst triumphantly 
turning to the place where the Cabinet Ministers 
sat. There was a strange stir in the court, those 
present feeling that belief in the inviolability of Brit- 
ish Justice was slipping from their grasp. For a 
moment or two there was an unpleasant pause and 
Mr. Curtis Bennett sat flushed and angry. 

Mr. Herbert Gladstone, the Home Secretary, was 
then called and took his place in the witness box. 
With his shiny bald forehead, ruddy face, prominent 
eyes and cofpulent figure, he formed not only a strik- 
ing contrast to his colleague who had just been ex- 
amined, but was as far removed from the impressive 
dignity of his own distinguished father. Altogether 
his general appearance was that which the romantic 
idealist would associate rather with a comfortable 
and prosperous shopkeeper than with a Cabinet 
Minister. As soon, as he had been sworn, he placed 
his elbows on the ledge in front of him and looked 
smilingly around the court, as much as to say, " Noth- 
ing of this kind can disturb me, I intend to enjoy 

Miss Pankhurst began by endeavouring to fix upon 
him as Home Secretary the responsibility for the 
proceedings against herself and her colleagues which 
he had denied in the House of Commons. She 
succeeded in forcing him to admit, " I am at the 
head of the responsible department." But when she 
put the questions more plainly, saying, " Did you 
not, as a matter of fact, instruct the Commissioner 
of Police to take the present proceedings?" and 
" Are the Government as a whole responsible for 
these proceedings?" Mr. Muskett jumped up, in 


each case, shouting, "I object to that I" and the 
Magistrate also said that the questions could not be 

They were also determined that no more un- 
pleasant disclosures were to be made, but she would 
not leave the subject. " Did you instruct Mr. 
Horace Smith to decide against Miss Brackenbury 
and to send her to prison for six weeks ? " she asked. 
" You cannot put that question either," said Mr. 
Curtis Bennett in a slightly raised tone. " It is a 
pity that the public interest should suffer on that ac- 
count," was her severe reply, and turning to Mr. 
Gladstone, she said, " Did you offer any instructions 
to Mr. Horace Smith?" ** I object to this; it is 
contempt of court to continue putting these ques- 
tions I " indignantly cried Mr. Muskett again spring- 
ing to his feet, but with a broad sweep of her hand 
she declared, " The public will answer them." Then 
turning to Mr. Gladstone, whose enjoyment of the 
situation had now entirely vanished, she persisted, 
'* What do you suggest is the meaning of what Mr. 
Horace Smith has said? " but again the Magistrate 

She next asked Mr. Gladstone to define the word 
" rush." " I can hardly give any definition of it, 
but a rush implies force," he said, growing more 
comfortable again. " Do you deny that it involves 
speed rather than force? " she asked, and he replied 
smiling and putting his head knowingly on one side, 
** Speed generally involves force." This argument 
continued for some time. Then she asked: 
" Were you anticipating that you would be in bodily 
danger as a consequence of the issue of this Bill? " 
" I did not think of it at all. I did not think 

OCTOBER, 1908 295 

whether the possibility existed or not," he answered, 
squaring his shoulders and throwing out his chest. 
She waved her hand. " You are like us, above these 
considerations. You were not in fear?" "No, 
not at all," he answered, looking pleased with him- 
self. ** Did you ever think that public property was 
in danger as a consequence of this bill having been 
issued?" ** I thought it quite possible," he said a 
little more seriously, ** I thought there would be dan- 
ger from the crowds." " Then you were agreeably 
disappointed on the morning of the 14th, when you 
found no harm had been done? " '* No, I was not. 
The police measures were sufficient to stop any seri- 
ous accident or danger," he said proudly and magis- 

She kept putting questions of this kind, first in 
one form then in another suntil he began to grow 
tired and puzzled, and was evidently in fear of mak- 
ing some unwise admission. "Did you feel that 
but for the line of police protecting you, the crowd 
would have rushed upon you and attacked you ? " 
she asked at last with expressive emphasis. " The 
police were not protecting me," he answered with an 
air of offended dignity; " I felt no personal fear." 
" Did any other person seem in danger of attack? " 
" The police gave them very little chance." " What 
made you think them a dangerous or hostile crowd? " 
" Of course, I am quite accustomed to seeing these 
crowds. I know what has happened before." 
"What has happened?" "Disorderly scenes." 
Mr. Gladstone was standing up now and looking 
quite severe. "What harm have they done?" 
" Very little, as it happened." " What harm have 
they attempted to do?" "That is not for me to 


answer." " Have they attempted to do more than 
secure an interview with the Prime Minister?" 
Mr. Gladstone turned to the Magistrate, who said, 
" That is not a question^ for him to answer." 

" We will go back to the 13th," she said. " Do 
you think anyone was obstructed in their passage to 
the House of Commons?" ** I cannot speak for 
other people." " You saw no attempt to waylay 
Members of Parliament or Cabinet Ministers?" 
Her questions continued thick and fast. He ad- 
mitted that he had seen no one waylaid or injured 
and no harm done, but took refuge in the assertion : 
" There was a great crowd." ** But a crowd assem- 
bles when the King goes to open Parliament," she 
said. He answered crossly, " Presumably, they 
were waiting to * rush * the House of Commons," 
and added later that he had heard that certain po- 
lice constables had been injured, and that there had 
been thirty-seven arrests and over forty complaints 
of losses of purses and watches. " Comparing 
that with the net result of a Lord Mayor's Show 
crowd or any sort of procession, really less harm re- 
sulted?" she asked, but he gave no reply and her 
questioning as to how many policemen were on duty 
and what the cost had been to the country were sup- 
pressed by Mr. Curtis Bennett. 

Presently Christabel asked, " How do you define 
a political offence? " Mr. Gladstone leant over the 
edge of the box and smiled again. " I wish you 
would give me a good definition," he said, in friendly 
confidential tones, " I am often asked that question 
in the House of Commons." "Well, with the 
Magistrate's permission, I will," she answered. 
" A political offence is one committed In connexion 

OCTOBER, igo8 297 

with political disturbances and with a political mo- 
tive." " I do not think that a sufficient explana- 
tion," he said with a challenging air. " If I am at 
liberty after this day's proceedings are over, I shall 
have pleasure in sending you a fuller account." 
Then she asked, " Do you remember that when a 
deputation of women went to the House of Com- 
mons to see the Prime Minister, instead of being al- 
lowed to enter, they were arrested? " " I have no 
immediate recollection of that, only a general recol- 
lection," was the Home Secretary's reply given with a 
lofty manner. When the question was put again in 
a slightly different form, the Magistrate interrupted: 
*' That does not arise on the issue." " It throws a 
light on it though," said Miss Pankhurst. " Please 
do obey; otherwise I shall have to stop it altogether," 
said Mr. Curtis Bennett, and one heard a note of 
regret in his voice. He evidently enjoyed the dis- 
comfort of the Cabinet Ministers and the spectacle 
of their professing blankest ignorance on well-known 
points. *' I have given you much more licence than 
I should give Counsel," he urged. 

** In the action we took on the 13th is it within 
your knowledge that we were acting on advice given 
by yourself?" Christgbel asked. *' I wish you 
would take my advice," Mr. Gladstone answered. 
" We are trying to take it," she said quietly. 
" What did you mean when you said that men had 
used force majeure in demanding the vote? " " If 
you hand me the speech, I daresay I can tell you." 

She held out a copy of it towards him but Mr. 
Curtis Bennett interposed. ** How is this material 
to what Mr. Gladstone saw? You are cross-exam- 
ining your own witness. Miss Pankhurst, and you 


must not do that." ** May I not ask any explana- 
tion whatsoever as to the counsel given to us? " she 
asked with a persuasive air. " No, you may not," 
the Magistrate replied sternly. " We never have 
any opportunity. May I ask whether he made cer- 
tain statements?" Mr. Curtis Bennett smiled and 
pretended not to notice, and Christabel eagerly 
turned to Mr. Gladstone, reading from the printed 
copy of his speech. '* Did you say it was impossible 
not to sympathise with the eagerness and passion 
which have actuated so many women on this sub- 
ject?" ** Yes," he replied. "Did you say men 
had had to struggle for centuries for their political 
rights? " " Yes." " Did you say that they had to 
fight from the time of Cromwell and that for the last 
130 years the warfare had been perpetual?" His 
smile was growing broader and broader. "Yes," 
he said. " Did you say that on this question expe- 
rience showed that predominance of argument. alone 
— and you believed that that had been attained — 
was not enough to win the political day? Did you 
say that? " " Yes." " Did you say that we are in 
the stage of what is called ' academic discussion,* 
which serves for the ventilation of pious opinions 
and is accompanied, you admit, by no effective action 
on the part of the Government, or of political par- 
ties or of voters throughout the country? " " Yes." 
" Did you say that members of the House of Com- 
mons reflect the opinion of the country, not only in 
regard to the number of people outside, but in re- 
gard to the intensity of the feeling in support of a 
movement, and that the Government must neces- 
sarily be a reflex of the party which brought it into 
being?" "Yes." "Did you say this: * There 

OCTOBER, igo8 299 

comes a time when political dynamics are far more 
important than political arguments ? ' You said 
that? " " Yes." " And that * men had learned this 
lesson?'" "Yes." "And that they know the 
necessity for * demonstrating that force majeure 
which actuates and arms a Government for effective 
work'?" "Yes, I think it was a most excellent 
speech I " he said nodding his head and smiling up 
at the prisoner evidently regarding the whole affair 
as a very good joke. The court laughed too, but 
for a different reason, and the Magistrate raised no 

" I agree with you," said Christabel, smiling de- 
murely, " Did you say that this was the task before 
the leaders of this great movement ? " "Yes." 
" Did you speak of people assembled in tens of 
thousands in the 'thirties, 'sixties and 'eighties, and 
do you know that we have done it in Hyde Park, 
and on Woodhouse Moor and other places?" 
" Yes." " Why don't you give us the vote then? " 
she said with quick emphasis, and the court laughed 
again. " Are you aware of the words your distin- 
guished father spoke on the matter? " she continued. 
" I heard the quotation." " Do you assent to the 
proposition he laid down?" "Yes." "Then you 
cannot condemn our methods any more," she said 
triumphantly. " That is hardly a matter for my 
opinion," he said, suddenly remembering that he must 
preserve his dignity. " It is a very interesting ques- 
tion, though. I need not trouble you further," she 

Now Mrs. Pankhurst rose and the witness turned 
to her quite cheerfully. " I want to ask Mr. Glad- 
stone," she said, " if he is aware that the consequence 


of our being ordered to be bound over is that we 
cannot consent and th%t we shall go to prison?" 
" That is a matter of U^» and not for the witness," 
interposed the Magistrate. " If that happens to us, 
if we go to prison, I hope that Mr. Gladstone will 
see that we go as political offenders," she said, but 
again the Magistrate intervened. " Do you think 
we should be likely to break the law if we had the 
same means of representation as men?" she then 
asked, and Mr. Gladstone replied with pompous 
amiability. " I am sure your motive is excellent, but 
that is a hypothetical question which I cannot an- 

Mrs. Pankhurst was irritated. " I will ask Mr. 
Gladstone," she said, " whether, in his opinion we 
should be treated as ordinary criminals, searched, 
stripped and put into cells as though we were drunk- 
ards and pickpockets?" "You must not put that 
question," said the Magistrate. The case amused 
him, but he did not like the unpleasant side pf it put 

This concluded the evidence of the Cabinet Min- 
isters, and as they were about to leave the court, 
Christabel graciously said, " May we tender our 
warm thanks to these two gentlemen who have done 
us the favour of coming forward to give evidence? " 
She then called a number of witnesses in support of 
her contention that the crowd on the night of the 
13th was an orderly one and that no violence was 
done. Amongst these were Colonel Massy, for- 
merly of the Sixth Dragoon Guards, Lady Constance 
Lytton, and Mr. Nevinson, a well-known leader- 
writer, and \yar correspondent. Mrs. May, another 
witness, said that in her opinion the word ** rush " 

Mr. Herbert Gladstone in the witness-box beine 
examined by Miss Christabel Pankhurst, October, 1908 

OCTOBER, igo8 301 

had been used on the famous handbill in a sense sim- 
ilar to that conveyed by the expression " A dash to 
the North Pole," explaining, that though an attempt 
to reach the North Pole is described as a *' dash," it 
is, in reality, the slowest possible mode of travel. In 
the same way she imagined that the public had been 
asked to " rush " the House of Commons into pass- 
ing a Votes for Women measure. 

Then came Miss Evelyn Sharp, well known as 
a writer of delightful stories for children, one of 
those frail wan-faced little people, who, whilst look- 
ing always as though a puff of strong wind would 
carry them away, yet manage to accomplish such 
quantities of work as fill the strongest with amaze, 
and at the same time have ever ready a fund of the 
brightest and cheeriest good humour. Now she told 
in the funniest and most winning way, that she had 
taken the fateful handbill as an invitation to go to 
the House of Commons and, if possible, not to turn 
back, and how, when she had found the police were 
determined to bar the way up Victoria Street, she 
had stooped and dodged between them in the middle 
of a scene which she described as being " like a rush 
at hockey." 

Miss F. E. Macaulay, an historical student, then 
gave several instances of women having gone to the 
House of Commons for the purpose of presenting 
petitions in ancient days and said she considered that 
the Suffragettes were only reviving an ancient cus- 

Meanwhile the day had passed; the case had be- 
gun at ten and it was now seven o'clock. Except 
for half an hour at lunch time, there had been no in- 
terval and during all these hours, but for an occa- 


sional brief five minutes or so when Mrs. Pankhurst 
or Mrs. Drummond had taken a turn, Christabel 
had been constantly examining witnesses, remaining 
always eager, alert, and full of energy and resource. 
Several times she had applied for an adjournment, 
but Mr. Curtis Bennett was just as anxious to tire 
her out and thus finish the trial, as she was to pro- 
long it. At last, at half past seven, he asked how 
many further witnesses she proposed to put into the 
box. She replied, " About fifty. We are sorry to 
take up the time of the court, but we are fighting for 
our liberty." On hearing this, Mr. Curtis Bennett 
decided to adjourn the hearing of the case until the 
following Saturday, ordering that the defendants 
should be released on bail as before. 

So Christabel had won for the time being. What- 
ever the final result might be the defendants had 
three more days of freedom before them, and the 
case which by the long accounts of it that were ap- 
pearing in every newspaper was interesting thou- 
sands of people in the Votes for Women movement, 
was to be carried on for another day. Criminal 
cases, many of them dealing with the foulest and 
most sordid crimes, are allowed to drag on for weeks 
and even months, whilst public time, public money, 
and public interest is lavishly expended upon them; 
we felt that we need not scruple then to prolong, as 
far as we possibly could, a trial dealing with great 
political issues. Moreover, our second Albert Hall 
meeting had been fixed for October 29th and we 
hoped that the defendants might be free to speak 
that night. 

When Saturday morning at length came round 
and the prisoners again took their places in the dock, 

OCTOBER, igo8 303 

it was at once evident that Mr. Curtis Bennett was 
determined to bring the case to an abrupt conclu- 
sion. Speaking in sharper and harsher tones than any 
we had heard from him before, he announced that 
he had decided only to hear two or three more wit- 
nesses whom the defendants might specially select, 
unless there were others who could give evidence 
relevant to the case in regard to a set of facts en- 
tirely diflFerent from any that had been raised. As 
this decision might take the defendants by surprise 
he would allow an adjournment of half an hour 
in which they might consider which of their witnesses 
they would prefer to call. Requests to state what 
class of evidence he would consider relevant, both 
from Christabel and Mrs. Pankhurst, the Magistrate 
met with a curt refusal to say anything further, and 
Christabel was not in form to overcome his objec- 
tions as she had been on the previous days. Indeed 
we now saw with anxiety that the excitement and 
extra pressure of work of the last few weeks, coupled 
with the constant heavy routine entailed by her po- 
sition in the Union and the great strain of conduct- 
ing this case, had begun to tell on her and, for the 
first time in her life, we began to fear that she might 
break down. But even now she would not abandon 
the fight to prolong the case. It" was impossible in 
half an hour to examine individually the hundreds 
of persons who had by this time offered to testify 
as witnesses, in order to find out which of them 
would prove most valuable to our case. The only 
thing to be done was to choose a few, almost at ran- 
dom, who possessed some special position or influ- 
ence, and whom we also knew personally to be par- 
ticularly sympathetic and observant. 


When the half hour had elapsed and the prisoners 
had again taken their places, Christabel first called 
Mr. James Murray, the Liberal Member of Parlia- 
ment for East Aberdeenshire, who had so kindly 
come to the rescue when bail had been refused at 
Bow Street- He stepped into the box, a huge figure 
immaculately dressed and faultlessly groomed, and 
turned his big ruddy, good humoured face towards 
the three prisoners with a kindly smile. When 
asked by Christabel if he were present at the meet- 
ing in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, October nth, 
he replied: '* I was going into the National Gal- 
lery and saw a collection of well dressed people in 
the Square. I think your mother was speaking, but 
I could not hear anything. What struck me was 
that the crowd listening to her was composed of ex- 
actly the type of people who go to Church on Sun- 
day in Scotland." " Then they must have been very 
respectable," said Christabel. " Did you get a copy 
of the Bill? " " No." " I daresay you saw it in 
the papers?" "I saw a statement in the papers." 
" How did you understand the word * rush ' ? " 
" I did not take the matter seriously at all." Here 
Mr. Curtis Bennett interrupted curtly, ** That really 
is for me. Miss Pankhurst, as I have told you." 
*' Did you resolve to accept the invitation? " Chris- 
tabel asked. " I could not very well, you see," said 
Mr. Murray smiling broadly, ** because I was inside 
the citadel." " He has the right of entry," said 
Mr. Curtis Bennett with mock solemnity, and for the 
first time that morning with a twinkle in his eyes. 
"Were you near Westminster on the 13th?" was 
the next question. ** I was in the House and sitting 
down to dinner when I got a telegram from your 

OCTOBER, igo8 305 

mother sent from the neighbourhood of Bow Street, 
asking me to go across there." *' This cannot be 
relevant,'* said Mr. Curtis Bennett sharply, but Mr. 
Murray merely looked amused, and went on : " In 
coming here I drove in a hansom up Parliament 
Street. The whole place was like a besieged city 
except that we had police officers instead of soldiers. 
A little beyond Dover House the crowd was held 
back by a cordon, but I had not the slightest diffi- 
culty in getting through in a hansom. Afterwards 
I returned to the House by the Strand and the Em- 
bankment and had very little trouble in getting 
back." "Was it a disorderly crowd?" "No, I 
think you could say an ordinary London crowd." 

" Did you come to the conclusion that the persons 
who had called the meeting had done so with a de- 
sire to incite the crowd to disorder or damage? " It 
was Mrs. Pankhurst who spoke now. " No," an- 
swered Mr. Murray, " I thought that if it were for 
any purpose at all it was to advertise the cause." 
" You know something of the women who are con- 
ducting this agitation?" was Mrs. Pankhurst's next 
question, and Mr. Murray said gallantly: "Yes, 
I have the greatest admiration for them; for their 
earnestness of purpose, ability, and general manage- 
ment of the whole scheme. " You know they have 
tried every other political method? " " Yes, and if 
they had been men instead of women they would not 
have been in the dock now — judging by the past." 
" Do you agree with Mr. Lloyd George when he 
said that if the Government would give us what we 
are asking for this agitation would cease? " " I 
have no doubt it would. I go further than Mr. 

Lloyd George and I say you are entitled to it," said 


the witness with fervour, and then, with a genial mo- 
tion of farewell to the prisoners he withdrew. 

After Dr. Miller Macquire, the well known Army 
coach, a stout little man with a black moustache and 
a strong Irish brogue, and Miss Agnes Murphy, an 
Australian, a quiet-volced, pale-faced lady had also 
given evidence, Mr. Curtis Bennett said that he 
would hear no more witnesses. Every attempt to 
overcome his decision failed and Chrlstabel then ap- 
plied for an adjournment In order that she and her 
companions might be In a position to do themselves 
full justice when they addressed the court. Every- 
one present anxiously hoped that this request would 
be granted, for It was evident that the woman who 
had hitherto conducted the defence so brilliantly, 
was almost worn out. The Magistrate, however, 
was determined to bring the case to an end, and he 
said, " You have had a long time to take this matter 
Into consideration, you must either address me now, 
or not at all." She protested that the case was be- 
ing " rushed '^ through the court, and at this there 
was laughter and applause, for everyone recognised 
the play on the word " rush." But Mr. Curtis Ben- 
nett said hotly, *' Are you going to address me or 
not? " With a gesture of protest, Chrlstabel Pank- 
hurst then began to speak in her own defence. She 
held In her hand a sheaf of type-written notes, con- 
taining dates and quotations, but every word of her 
brilliant speech was extemporised. She spoke 
quickly, and with a passionate emotion which is usu- 
ally foreign to her. When she referred to the na- 
ture of the prosecution and to the conduct of the 
Government in having denied the women the trial by 
jury to which the nature of their alleged defence en- 

OCTOBER, igo8 307 

titled them and in having preferred to hustle their 
case through the police court where the drunkards 
and pickpockets are tried, it was with a thrill of in- 
dignation that spread through the court. 

She began by declaring that these proceedings had 
been taken ** out of malice and for vexation," and 
** in order to lame, in an illegitimate way, a political 
enemy." In proof of this she cited the attitude of 
the Government towards the present women's move- 
ment from its very beginning three years before. 
She drew attention to the fact, which had been sworn 
to in the witness box, that Mr. Horace Smith had 
allowed himself to be coerced by the Government 
into settling, in conjunction with them, whether a 
certain lady charged in connection with this agitation, 
was guilty, and even the term of imprisonment which 
was to be inflicted upon her before the evidence had 
been heard. 

" Now, this policy of the Government of weight- 
ing the scales against us," Christabel declared, " is 
not of interest merely to us, but to the whole com- 
munity. In the course of British history we have 
seen many struggles for the purification of our ju- 
dicial system. ... It has been left to the 
twentieth century — to these so-called democratic 
days — to see our judicial system corrupted for party 
ends. I am glad that we have been able to perform 
the public duty and service of doing something to 
attack this evil while it is in the bud. . . ." 

Dealing with the form of the summons, she urged 
that, if she and her colleagues were guilty of any 
offence, it was that of illegal assembly, but the 
Government had not charged them with this offence, 
because they had wished to keep their trial in the 


police court and to prevent it from coming before a 
jury. *' They believe, that by this means," she said, 
" they will succeed in prejudicing the public against 
us. We know perfectly well that up till recently 
the general public shunned the police court as a dis- 
graceful place. Well, I think that by our presence 
here we have done something to relieve the police 
tourt of that unenviable reputation. We have done 
something to raise its status in the public eye. 

" The authorities dare not see this case come be- 
fore a jury," she continued, " because they knew per- 
fectly well that if it were heard before a jury of 
our countrymen we should be acquitted, just as John 
Burns was acquitted years ago for taking action far 
more serious, far more dangerous to the public peace 
than anything we have done. Yes, I say they are 
afraid of sending us before a jury, and I am quite 
sure that this will be obvious to the public, and that 
the Government will suffer from the underhand, the 
unworthy and the disgraceful subterfuge by which 
they have removed this case to what we can only call 
a Star Chamber of the twentieth century. Yes, this 
is a Star Chamber. . . . We are deprived of 
trial by jury. We are also deprived of the right 
of appeal against the magistrate's decision. Very, 
very carefully has this procedure been thought out; 
very, very cunningly has it been thought to hedge us 
in on every side, and to deprive us of our rights in 
the matter! Though we are rendered liable to six 
months' imprisonment, we are yet denied the privi- 
leges in making our defence that people liable to 
three months' imprisonment enjoy. We shall be 
told in the House of Commons no doubt — we have 
been told the same thing before now — that we are 

OCTOBER, igo8 309 

only bound over, we need not go to prison, if we go 
to prison we have only ourselves to thank. . . . 
If the case is decided against us, if we are called 
upon to be bound over, it must be remembered that 
that amounts to imprisoning us, and that therefore 
the authorities cannot possibly escape their responsi- 
bility in sending us to prison by saying that we could 
be at liberty if we liked. Magna Charta has been 
practically torn up by the present Government. 
. . . We consider that it is not we who ought 
to be in the dock to-day, but the people who are re- 
sponsible for such a monstrous state of affairs." 

Then she went on to deal with the reasons for 
issuing the bill : " We do not deny at all that we 
issued this bill ; none of us three have wished to deny 
responsibility. We did issue the bill; we did cause 
It to be circulated; we did put upon it the words 
' Come and help the Suffragettes to rush the House of 
Commons.' For these words we do not apologise. 
. . . It is very well known that we took this 
action in order to press forward a claim, which, ac- 
cording to the British Constitution, we are well en- 
titled to make. After all, we are seeking only to 
enforce the observance of the law of the land that 
taxation and representation must go together, and 
that one who obeys the laws must have a share in 
making them. Therefore, when we claim the Par- 
liamentary vote, we are asking the Government to 
abandon the illegal practice of denying representa- 
tion to those who have a perfect right to it. 

** I want here to insist," she said, " upon the legal- 
ity of the action which we have taken. We have a 
perfectly constitutional right to go ourselves in per- 
son to lay our grievances before the House of Com- 


mons, and as one witness — an expert student of 
history — pointed out to you, we are but pursuing a 
legitimate course which in the old days women pur- 
sued without the smallest interference by the authori- 

In regard to the meaning of the word " rush," she 
pointed out that a large number of witnesses had 
been examined, and that all these witnesses had testi- 
fied that, according to their interpretation of the 
word " rush," no violence was counselled. 

" The word * rush/ " Christabel said, " appears to be very 
much the rage just now. We find that at a meeting of the 
League for the Preservation of Swiss Scenery, Mr. Richard 
Whiteing, discussing the question of Swiss railways, sug- 
gested that a general * rush ' to the Italian Alps might induce 
the Swiss to listen to reason. Well, I do not think that 
anyone here would suggest that Mr. Whiteing meant to 
offer any violence to the Swiss in his use of the word * rush.' 
He meant to imply that a speedy advance should be made 
to the Italian Alps. Then we have Mr. McKinnon Wood 
counselling the electors to * rush ' the County Council, and 
get a lady elected to that body. 

" I want to submit that * rush ' as a transitive verb can- 
not mean * attack,' * assail,' * make a raid upon,' or anything 
of that kind." 

In support of her contentions, Christabel quoted 
the definitions given by many dictionaries, including 
The Century Dictionary, Chambers' English Diction- 
ary, and Farmer and Henley's Dictionary of Slang 
which gave amongst other meanings of the word 
" rush " " an eager demand," " urgent pressure of 
business," ** hurry or hasten, — it may be unduly," 
" to go forward over hastily; for example a number 
of Bills are * rushed ' through Parliament or a case is 

OCTOBER, igo8 311 

' rushed ' through a law court." One of the defini- 
tions ran, " A ' rusher,' a go-ahead person," whilst 
'* on the rush " was said to mean " in a hurry," and 
" with a rush, with spirit or energetically." 

Christabel also displayed a little label which had 
been sent to her during the progress of the case. It 
stated, " Rush by first train leaving," and was used 
in America for parcels required to reach their desti- 
nation early. She reminded the magistrate of Mrs. 
May's comparison of the phrase " rush the House 
of Commons " with " a dash for the Pole," saying: 

" Everyone knows that you cannot get to the Pole 
in a hurry, but you can try to get there in a hurry, 
and that is what * a dash to the Pole ' means. 
Everyone knows that with a timid Government like 
the present, having at its service the entire Metro- 
politan Police Force, if one woman says she is going 
to rush the House of Commons, there will be an 
immense number of police to prevent her doing it. 
Nobody, then, having regard to the facts I have 
mentioned, thought the women would rush the 
House of Commons, but they knew that the women 
would be there to show their indignation against the 
Government, and I am glad to say that they were 
there. It may mean six months' imprisonment, but 
I think it is worth it. 

** We are anxious to know by what statute it is 
illegal to go to the House of Commons, walk up the 
steps and make our way to the Strangers' Entrance? 
We should like to know whether that is an illegal 
thing to do, and, if it is not illegal to go at a slow 
pace, we should like to know whether it is illegal to 
go at a quick pace, because that is what the word 
* rush ' means. * To rush the House of Commons ' 


IS to go with all possible speed inside the House of 
Commons, and I hope that we shall be told what 
statute we have contravened by doing it ourselves, 
or by sending or inviting others to do it." 

Miss Pankhurst next referred to the speeches 
made in Trafalgar Square on October nth. She 
was glad that the prosecution had raised this point 
because it was all in the defendant's favor. The 
speeches made at that meeting were made in inter- 
pretation of the famous handbill and all the wit- 
nesses who had heard those speeches, not excepting 
Mr. Lloyd George himself, were agreed that they 
contained nothing inflammatory and no incitement 
to violence whatsoever. Christabel continued: 

"It is not because of anything serious that oc- 
curred on October 13th, or was expected to occur, 
that we are here ; we are here in order that we may 
be kept out of the way for some months, and may 
cease from troubling the Government for as long a 
period as they can find it in them, or for which the 
public will allow them, to deprive us of our liberty." 

Whilst hosts of witnesses had testified to the 
orderly character of the crowd, she pointed out that 
two police officers only had been put forward on the 
other side. The prosecution had been unable to 
bring forward a single impartial person. But police 
evidence appeared to be all that was considered in 
the Police Court, and she cried out passionately : 

It seems to me that the Prosecution, the witnesses, the 
authorities, the magistrates, are all on one side, they are all 
in the same box, and the prisoner charged with an offence 
IS absolutely helpless whatever facts he may bring forward. 
It is indeed a waste of time to bring evidence. Over the 
doors of this court ought to be the motto, " Abandon hope, 

OCTOBER, igo8 313 

all ye who enter here." We do not care for ourselves, be- 
cause imprisonment is nothing to us; but when we think of 
the thousands of helpless creatures who come into this mon- 
strous place with nobody to help them, nobody to plead for 
them, and we know perfectly well that they are found guilty 
before they have a chance of defending themselves, the in- 
justice that is done in these courts is almost too terrible to 

We saw then those helpless creatures, as we had 
done so often, and as Christabel called up their image, 
her voice broke and there were tears on her face. 
" I am thankful to think," she said triumphantly, 
" that we have been able, by submitting ourselves to 
the absurd proceedings that are conducted here, to 
ventilate this fearful wrong." 

Christabel next developed the contention that in 
the course which they had taken the women had fol- 
lowed historical precedent and had been encouraged 
by statesmen and especially by Liberal statesmen. 
The Reform Acts had been obtained by disorder. 
Prior to 1832, the Mansion House, the Custom 
House, the Bishop's Palace, the Excise Office, three 
prisons, four toll-houses, and forty-two private 
dwellings and warehouses had been burnt. Amongst 
other things, the breaking-down of the Hyde Park 
railings won the Reform Act of 1867. In 1884 
there were the Aston Park riots. John Bright 
threatened to crowd the streets from Westminster 
Bridge to Charing Cross. Lord Randolph Church- 
Ill advised the voters of Ulster — and voters have 
other means of urging their opinions — to resort 
" to the supreme arbitrament of force." He said, 
** Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right," and as 
a result of his words dangerous riots almost amount- 


ing to warfare occurred, yet he was never prosecuted. 
Joseph Chamberlain threatened to march one hun- 
dred thousand men on London, but no proceedings 
were taken against him. ** The Gladstone of those 
days," Chrlstabel declared, ** was less absurd, hesi- 
tating, and cowardly than the present Gladstone and 
his colleagues, and therefore he took the statesman- 
like action of pressing forward the Reform Bill in- 
stead of taking proceedings against Mn Chamber- 
lain. Even a vote of censure moved upon Mr. 
Chamberlain in the House of Commons, was de- 
feated." John Burns, whose language was far more 
violent than any that the women had used, was tried 
at the Old Bailey and acquitted. He said in his 
speech that he was a rebel, because he was an out- 
law. Well, that fact will support us in all we have 
done. If we go to far greater lengths than we have 
done yet, we shall only be following in the footsteps 
of a man who is now a member of the Government. 
Following out this line of thought, Chrlstabel went 

Mr. Herbert Gladstone has told us in the speech I read 
to him that the victory of argument alone is not enough. 
As we cannot hope to win by force of argument alone, it is 
necessary to overcome the savage resistance of the Govern- 
ment to our claim for citizenship by other means. He says: 
" Go on. Fight as the men did." And then, when we 
show our power and get the people to help us, he takes pro- 
ceedings against us in a manner which would have been dis- 
graceful even in the old days of coercion, and which would 
be thought disgraceful if it were practised in Russia. 

Then there is Mr, Lloyd George, who, if any man has 
done so, has set us an example. His whole career has been 
9 series of revolts. • . , He has said that if we do not 

OCTOBER, igo8 315 

get the vote — mark these words — we should be justified 
in adopting the methods which men had to adopt, namely, 
in pulling down the Hyde Park railings. 

Then, as a sign of the way in which men politicians deal 
with men's interests, we have heard Lord Morley saying: 
" We are in India in the presence of a living movement, 
and a movement for what? For objects which we ourselves 
have taught them to think are desirable objects, and unless 
we can somehow reconcile order with satisfaction of those 
ideas and aspirations, the fault will not be theirs; it will be 
ours — it will mark the breakdown of British statesman- 
ship." Apply those words to our case. Remember that we 
are demanding of Liberal statesmen that which for us 
IS the greatest boon and the most essential right. Remem- 
ber that we are asking for votes, that we are demanding 
the franchise, and if the present Government cannot recon- 
cile order with our demand for the vote without delay, it 
will mark the breakdown of their statesmanship. Yes, their 
statesmanship has broken down already. They are dis- 
graced. It is only in this Court that they have the smallest 
hope of getting bolstered up. 

Turning finally from the Magistrate to the great 
world of public opinion outside, she finished on a 
defiant note, caring nothing whether the abuse which 
she had heaped upon his petty court and its unworthy 
procedure should cause him to increase her sentence 
ten or even a hundred fold. Mr. Curtis Bennett sat 
with brows knit and an angry flush on his face, and 
the whole court was wrought up to the most intense 
excitement. But now it was Mrs. Pankhurst's turn 
to speak and her clear even tones and absolute calm 
of manner created if possible an even deeper impres- 

Sir, I want to endorse what my daughter has said, that 
in my opinion we are proceeded against in this Court by 


malice on the part of the Government. [She began quietly 
and firmly.] I want to protest as strongly as she has done. 
I want to put before you that the very nature of your duties 
in this Court — although I wish to say nothing disrespect- 
ful to you — render you unfitted to deal with a question 
which is a political question, as a body of jurymen could do. 
We are not women who would come into this court as 
ordinary law-breakers. 

Mrs. Drummond here is a woman of very great public 
spirit; she is an admirable wife and mother; she has very 
great business ability, and, although a married woman, she 
has maintained herself for many years, and has acquired 
for herself the admiration and respect of all the people with 
whom she has had business relations. I do not think I 
need speak about my daughter. Her abilities and earnest- 
ness of purpose are very well known to you. They are 
young women. I am not, Sir. You and I are older, and 
have both had very great and very wide experience of life 
under different conditions. Before you decide what is to 
be done with us, I should like you to hear from me a state- 
ment of what has brought me into this dock this morning. 

I was brought up by a father who taught me that his 
children, boys and girls alike, had a duty towards their coun- 
try; they must be good citizens. I married a man, whose 
wife I was, but also his comrade in all his public life. He 
was, as you know, a distinguished member of your own 
profession, but he felt it his duty, in addition, to do political 
work, to interest himself in the welfare of his fellow coun- 
trymen and countrywomen. Throughout the whole of my 
marriage I was associated with him in his public work. In 
addition to that, as soon as my children were of an age to 
permit me to leave them, I took to public duties. I was 
for many years a Guardian of the Poor. For many years 
I was a member of the School Board, and when that was 
abolished I was elected to the Educational Committee. My 
experience in doing that work brought me in contact with 
many of my own sex, who, in my opinion, found themselvC9 

OCTOBER, igo8 317 

in deplorable positions because of the state of the English 
law as it affects women. You in this court must have had 
experience of women who would never have come here if 
married women were afforded by law that claim for main- 
tenance by their husbands which I think in justice should 
be given them when they give up their economic inde- 
pendence and are unable to earn a subsistence for themselves. 
You know how inadequate are the marriage laws to women. 
You must know, Sir, as I have found out in my experience 
of public life, how abominable, atrocious, and unjust are 
the divorce laws as they affect women. You know very 
well that the married woman has no legal right to the 
guardianship of her children. Then, too, the illegitimacy 
laws ; you know that a woman sometimes commits the dread- 
ful crime of infanticide, while her partner, the man, who 
should share her punishment, gets off scot free. 

Ever since my girlhood, a period of about thirty years, I 
have belonged to organisations to secure for women that 
political power which I have felt essential to bringing about 
those reforms which women need. We have tried to be 
what you call womanly, we have tried to use " feminine in- 
fluence," and we have seen that it is of no use. Men who 
have been impatient have invariably got reforms. 

I have seen that men are encouraged by law to take ad- 
vantage of the helplessness of women. Many women have 
thought as I have and for many, many years have tried by 
that influence of which we have so often been reminded to 
alter these laws, but have found that that influence counts 
for nothing. When we went to the House of Commons 
we used to be told, when we were persistent, that Members 
of Parliament were not responsible to women, they were 
responsible only to voters, and that their time was too fully 
occupied to reform those laws, although they agreed that 
they needed reforming. 

We women have presented larger petitions in support of 
our enfranchisement than were ever presented for any other 
jeform, we have succeeded in holding greater public meet- 


ings than men have ever held for any reform, in spite of 
the difficulty which women have in throwing off their natu- 
ral diffidence, that desire to escape publicity which we have 
inherited from generations of our foremothers ; we have 
broken through that. We have faced hostile mobs at street 
corners, because we were told that we could not have that 
representation for our taxes which men have won unless we 
converted the whole of the country to our side. Because 
we have done this, we have been misrepresented, we have 
been ridiculed, we have had contempt poured upon us, and 
the ignorant mob incited to offer us violence, which we have 
faced unarmed and unprotected by the safeguards which 
Cabinet Ministers have. 

I am here to take upon myself now. Sir, as I wish the 
Prosecution had put upon me, the full responsibility for 
this agitation in its present phase. I want to address you 
as a woman who has performed the duties of a woman, 
and, in addition, has performed the duties which ordinary 
men have to perform, by earning a living for her children, 
and educating them. 

I want to make you realise that it is a point of honour 
that if you decide — as I hope you will not decide — to 
bind us over, that we shall not sign any undertaking, as 
the Member of Parliament did who was before you yester- 
day. Perhaps his reason for signing that undertaking may 
have been that the Prime Minister had given some assurance 
to the people he claimed to represent that something should 
be done for them. We have had no such assurance. So, 
Sir, if you decide against us to-day, to prison we must go, 
because we feel that we should be going back to the hope- 
less condition this movement was in three years ago if we 
consented to be bound over to keep the peace which we have 
never broken. If you decide to bind us over, although the 
Government have admitted that wt are political offenders, 
we shall be treated as pickpockets and drunkards and I want 
you, if you can, as a man, to realise what that means to 


■I s 


OCTOBER, igo8 319 

women like us. We are driven to do this, we are deter- 
mined to go on with this agitation, because we feel in honour 
bound. Just as it was the duty of your forefathers, it is 
our duty to make this world a better place for women than 
it is to-day. 

Now, Sir, we have not wished to waste your time in any 
way; we have wished to make you realise that there is an- 
other side to the case than that put before you by the 
Prosecution. We want you to use your power — I do not 
know what value there is in the legal claims that have been 
put before you as to your power to decide this case — but 
we want you, Sir, if you will, to send us to be tried in some 
place more suitable for the trial of political offenders than 
an ordinary police court. You must realise how futile it 
is to attempt to settle this question by binding us over to 
keep the peace. You have tried it; it has failed. Others 
have tried to do it, and have failed. If you had power to 
send us. to prison, not for six months, but for six years, 
for sixteen years, or for the whole of our lives, the Govern- 
ment must not think that they could stop this agitation. It 
would go on. 

Lastly, I want to draw your attention to the self-restraint 
which was shown by our followers on the night of the 13th, 
after we had been arrested. It only shows that our in- 
fluence over them is very great, because I think if they had 
yielded to their natural impulses, there might have been a 
breach of the peace. They were very indignant, but our 
words have always been, be patient, exercise self-restraint, 
show our so-called superiors that the criticism of women 
being hysterical is not true; use no violence, offer your- 
selves to the violence of others. We are going to win. 
Our women have taken that advice; if we are in prison 
they will continue to take that advice. 

Well, Sir, that is all I have to say to you. We are here, 
not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts 
to become law-makers. 


The angry red had faded from Mr. Curtis Ben- 
nett's face, and whilst Mrs. Pankhurst was speaking 
he kept his hand up to it, and at one point we saw 
it quiver and for a moment he hid his eyes. Some 
of the big burly policemen whom we knew so well 
and who, except in the " raids," when they were 
obliged to do their duty, were always so kind and 
jovial towards us, were openly in tears. Then Mrs. 
Drummond, looking paler and more serious than is 
her wont, rose up to speak in her turn. Her voice 
was a few notes thinner and higher pitched and like 
her words, it seemed to be stripped of all emotion 
and to be instinct with the clearest and most logical 
commonsense. Not only what she said, but her 
whole personality was so honest, sincere and un- 
affected that she seemed to add the one thing lack- 
ing to the completeness of that presentment of the 
great unanswerable case for Woman's Suffrage. 
Her concluding words were an assurance that the 
agitation, which was spreading and growing all over 
the country, would go on as before. " I can speak 
on good authority," she said, ** for we have left 
everything in working order and we shall find the 
movement stronger than when we left it because the 
action which the Government have taken has fired 
the bosoms of women, who are determined to take 
up the flag that we have had to lay down to-day." 

When Mrs. Drummond had finished, Mr. Curtis 
Bennett began speaking quite cheerfully and as 
though the whole affair were an amusing discussion 
between friends and had no unpleasant side to it. 
During the first part of his speech he reviewed the 
arguments on both sides of the case, and as he re- 
ferred meanwhile to the pages on which he had taken 

— I 

OCTOBER, igo8 321 

his notes he so frequently smiled as though they re- 
called amusing and rather pleasant memories to him, 
that many people made up their minds that he was 
either about to state a case for a higher court, as the 
defendants wished, or to discharge them altogether. 
All at once, however, his tone changed and he be- 
gan to speak hurriedly, with lowered voice and in- 
creased severity of manner, and went on to say that 
there could be no doubt that it was for that court 
and that court alone to deal with the offence for 
which the defendants had been summoned; and that 
there could be no doubt but that the handbill which 
the defendants circulated was liable to cause some- 
thing to occur which might and probably would, end 
in a breach of the peace. The Chief Commissioner 
of Police was bound to keep Parliament Square and 
the vicinity free and open, and the Commissioner of 
Police had felt that it would be impossible to do that 
if crowds assembled together in order to help and to 
see the women " rush *' the House of Commons. 
Therefore each of the two older defendants would 
be bound over in their own recognisances of £100, 
and, they must find two sureties in £50 each to keep 
the peace for twelve months, or in default must 
undergo three months' imprisonment. In the case 
of the younger defendant, her own recognisances 
would be £50, with two sureties of £25 each, the al- 
ternative being ten weeks' imprisonment* . 



The Trial of Mrs. Baines. The Mutiny in Hollo- 
way. The Taking-down of the Grille. 

Mrs. Drummond was right, for though she and 
her companions had left a great blank in the work 
of the Union, as she had predicted at the dock at 
Bow Street, other women eagerly volunteered to 
raise up the flag that they had been compelled to lay 
down. In addition to the newcomers, every mem- 
ber of the staff cheerfully undertook some extra task, 
and the movement grew like a living flame. The 
office at Clement's Inn was indeed fortunate in its 
abundance of willing and able workers. Beside 
Mrs. Pethick Lawrence and her husband, and 
charming Mrs. Tuke, Mrs. Pankhurst's co-secretary, 
there were a host of others, amongst them dignified, 
business-like Miss Kerr, with her rosy face and 
pretty white hair, thoughtful; reliable Miss Ham- 
bling, Mrs. Drummond's secretary, and Mrs. San- 
ders, who, though financial secretary, was now find- 
ing time to keep a list of Cabinet Minister's engage- 
ments for us. There was also Jessie, the London 
organiser, earnest and serious like all the Kenneys, 
who, showing a grasp of the political situation and 
an organising capacity indeed remarkable in a girl 
of twenty-two, marshalled the force of women to 



ask of members of the Government those constant 

The very greatest difficulty was now experienced 
in getting into Cabinet Ministers' meetings, for 
women were now almost entirely excluded. The ex- 
pedient of issuing a limited number of special 
women's tickets, the recipients of which were obliged 
to sign both name and address to a pledge neither to 
disturb the meeting nor to transfer the ticket, was 
first resorted to for Mr. Haldane's meeting at Shef- 
field, on November 20th, 1907. The practice had 
now become general and in some cases the women's 
tickets had also to be countersigned by a Liberal of- 
ficial to whom the applicants were personally known. 
But in spite of such precautions the Suffragettes fre- 
quently still succeeded in getting into the meetings 
and that without having given any promise, and 
when they could not get inside, they invariably raised 
a protest in the street. 

When Cabinet Ministers, cast as they were in un- 
heroic mould, discarded, to a large extent, the cus- 
tom of delivering their pronouncements to great 
public gatherings where all might come, and instead 
frequently made their weighty utterances at bazaars, 
private or semi-private banquets and receptions and 
meetings of a few tried and trusted friends, the Suf- 
fragettes were always there even though the world 
and Mrs. Grundy might be shocked. On November 
5th, for instance, a well-known Liberal hostess, Mrs. 
Godfrey Benson, gave a reception in honour of the 
Prime Minister. As they stood together-at the head 
of the stairs receiving the guests, there came amongst 
the ladies and gentlemen in evening dress, streaming 
upward towards them, one strikingly tall and hand- 


some lady in white satin with abundant dark hair, 
who said as she took the Prime Minister by the 
hand, " Can I do anything to persuade you to give 
votes to women? " Then, still holding his hand in 
hers, she proceeded to read out to him some clauses 
of Magna Charta, explaining that these had been 
intended to apply to women as well as to men. Mrs. 
Godfrey Benson did not for some moments notice 
Mr. Asquith's dilemma, but as soon as she did so, 
she seized a police whistle which was attached to a 
ribbon at her waist, and, by blowing loudly, sum- 
moned an officer of the law, who conducted the lady 
out of the house. 

Very great precautions were taken to prevent the 
Suffragettes approaching Mr. Asquith when he vis- 
ited Leeds to speak at the Coliseum on the afternoon 
of Saturday, October loth. From 7 o'clock in the 
morning the police had been massed around the hall 
and cordons, both of foot and mounted men were 
drawn up outside the railway station and along the 
road by which the Prime Minister was to pass. But, 
in spite of all the force to guard him, as Mr. Asquith 
emerged, Mrs. Baines, a little fragile figure, with 
face ashen white and dark, blazing eyes, a creature 
compounded of zeal and passion, threw herself in 
front of him, crying, ** Votes for Women, and down 
with tyranny 1 " and the crowd cheered her, though 
she was at once rudely hurled aside by the police. 
Then, followed by thousands of people, she made 
her way to Cockridge Street outside the Coliseum, 
where she had already announced that she would 
hold an open air meeting simultaneously with that of 
Mr. Asquith, inside. A great crowd had gathered 
there to hear her and when she put to them a reso- 


lution that she and her Suffragette comrades should 
go to the Coliseum to demand an interview with the 
Prime Minister, a forest of hands shot up in favour. 
Then declaring, "If these tyrants won't come to us, 
we must go to them and compel a hearing," she 
jumped down from the carriage which had served 
her as a platform, and, followed by a number of 
other women and more slowly by the crowd itself, 
she moved on towards the Coliseum. Half way 
across the road the police barred the way and an 
inspector asked her where she was going. " Don't 
be foolish, Mrs. Baines," he said when she told him, 
but she was not to be deterred and,* running round 
one of the mounted police, was arrested by a con- 
stable on foot. The other women still pressed for- 
ward and one by one five of them were arrested and 
taken to the Town Hall, where they were charged 
with disorderly conduct, whilst Mr. Asquith left the 
meeting by a back exit amid the hisses and groans 
of the crowd. 

On Monday morning the others were each sent to 
prison for five days on refusing to be bound over to 
keep the peace, but the case against Mrs. Baines was 
held over until the following Wednesday. She was 
then charged with inciting to riot and unlawful as- 
sembly. Her case was to be held over until the 
Assizes, in November, and the opportunity of being 
tried by Judge and Jury which Mrs. Pankhurst, 
Christabel Pankhurst, and Mrs. Drummond had 
claimed in vain was thus to fall to her lot. The 
Grand Jury, having returned a True Bill against 
Mrs. Baines, Mr. Pethick Lawrence, who was de- 
fending her, served subpoenas to give evidence at 
the trial upon Mr. Asquith and Mr. Herbert Glad- 


stone; but the Cabinet Ministers had no intention of 
allowing themselves to be examined by the Suffra- 
gettes and to be made into a Suffragette advertise- 
ment a second time. They applied to the Divisional 
Court for a Rule to set aside the subpoenas, and did 
not scruple to take advantage of their position as 
members of the Government to employ both the At- 
torney General, Sir William Robson, K. C, and the 
Solicitor General, Sir Samuel Evans, K. C, to plead 
their case in opposition to Mr. Pethick Lawrence. 
Though no precedent for setting aside a subpoena in 
criminal cases could be found, it was decided that 
neither Mr. Asquith nor Mr. Gladstone should be 
called upon to give evidence. 

On Thursday and Friday, November 19th and 
20th, the actual trial took place in the Leeds Town 
Hall. Mrs. Baines freely admitted that she had 
used the words, " if these tyrants will not come to 
us, we must go to them and compel a hearing," and 
that her intention had been to get into the meeting 
and secure an interview with the Prime Minister, 
but she protested that she had had no intention of 
injuring him or anyone and when Mr. Bairstow, K. 
C, the Counsel for the prosecution, asked if she had 
carried any weapons, she replied, ** Oh, my tongue 
IS weapon enough ! " When asked to give an account 
of her life, she said that she was the daughter of a 
working man and had begun to help in earning the 
family living at eleven years of age. After her 
marriage she had continued to be a wage-earner, 
though ,she was the mother of five children, because 
her husband, who was a shoemaker, was only able 
to earn 25 shillings a week. Nevertheless she had 
done much public and social work as she had been a 


Salvation Army lieutenant, an evangelist to a work- 
ing-men's mission, a member of the Stockport un- 
employed committee and committee for the feeding 
of school children, and a worker in the temperance 
cause. When asked to give some account of her 
speech to the crowd on the loth of October, she said, 
** I wanted the men and women of Leeds to under- 
stand why we were there to protest against Mr. 
Asquith's refusal to give us the vote. I said that 
that afternoon Mr. Asquith would be dealing with 
the Licensing question; that this was more a 
woman's question than it was a man's, because we 
women suffered most through intemperance, and 
that no real temperance reform would ever be 
brought about until women had a voice in the matter. 
The unemployed question was also more a woman's 
question than it was a man's, because it was the 
women who really suffered most. Mr. Asquith had 
never known what it was, as I have done, to go 
without food or to go to school hungry. We 
wanted to see Mr. Asquith and we wanted to know 
when we were going to have access to Mr. Asquith." 
After the evidence on both sides had been heard 
Mr. Lawrence made an eloquent speech for the de- 
fence, but it was nevertheless decided that Mrs. 
Baines was guilty of unlawful assembly. The Judge 
then asked her to enter into her own recognisances 
to be of good behaviour, explaining that if she 
agreed she would merely be promising not to use 
violence or to incite to violence in future. Mrs. 
Baines steadfastly maintained that she had had no 
intention of using violence, but felt that she could 
not conscientiously agree to be bound over to keep 
the peace. Mr. Justice Pickford then said that 


though he was reluctant to do so, he must pass sen- 
tence upon her and ordered that she should be im- 
prisoned for six weeks in the Second Division. In 
the result, however, she was only kept in prison for 
three weeks because, though she had gone free mean- 
while, the fortnight during which she had awaited 
her trial at the Assizes was counted as part of her 
sentence, and in addition she was entitled to one 
week's remission of sentence for good behaviour. 

Amid all the whirl of militancy that had been 
going on the work of educative peaceful propaganda 
was never allowed to flag and beside the hundreds 
of uncounted smaller meetings a series of great in- 
door demonstrations calling for votes for women 
and the release of the prisoners was held in the 
Free Trade Hall, Manchester, the Town Hall, 
Birmingham, the St. George's Hall, Bradford, the 
Guild Hall, Plymouth, the Town Hall, Hudders- 
field, the Town Hall, Battersea, the Town Hall, 
Chelsea, the King's Theatre, Hammersmith, and in 
many other places, and culminated in a second great 
demonstration in the Albert Hall on October 29th 
at which £3,000 was collected. Then, in declaring 
the £20,000 campaign fund to be complete, Mrs. 
Pethick Lawrence appealed for it to be carried on 
to £50,000, and that the half way house of £25,000 
should be reached before the founder of the Union 
should be released from prison. 

Whilst the W. S. P. U. had been thus active, the 
Women's Freedom League had startled London by 
a cleverly organised and smartly executed demon- 
stration in the Ladies' Gallery of the House of 
Commons, on October 28th. That morning all the 
world had awakened to find that little placards, 


headed " A Proclamation containing a demand for 
Votes for Women," had been posted on every 
hoarding. At 8:30 in the evening, whilst Parlia- 
ment was discussing the Licensing Bill, and Mr. 
Remnant, one of the Conservative Members, was 
speaking, a woman in the Ladies' Gallery suddenly 
thrust through the brass grille one of these procla- 
mations with a cry of " Votes for Women ! " In- 
stantly Miss Muriel Matters darted to the front of 
the Gallery and proceeded to deliver a Suffrage 
speech, two attendants at once came rushing in, 
tumbling over the ladies' trains and pushing uncere- 
moniously past them in haste to drag her from her 
place, only to find that they could not do so, for, 
by means of a padlock and chain around her waist, 
she had attached herself to the grille. Whilst some 
of the men struggled to break the chains, others 
gagged her by holding their hands over her mouth, 
but a second woman, also chained, took up the tale 
with ** we demand the vote," and, after she had 
been stifled in the same impromptu and objectionable 
fashion, a third cried, " We have remained behind 
this insulting grille too long." 

Members of Parliament were meanwhile pouring 
into the House to see the show, and though Mr. 
Remnant spoke on without pausing, but little notice 
was taken of anything that he said. The attendants 
in the Gallery now discovered that the chains around 
the women's waists had been wrapped in wool to 
prevent their clanking and were secured by strong 
Yale padlocks, that, on being snapped together, had 
locked automatically without a key, and after vainly 
dragging and pulling at the women (who, in spite 
of the gagging, still managed to articulate a word 


or two occasionally), and after tugging again and 
again at both locks and chains, the men came to the 
conclusion that it would be necessary to remove 
bodily those parts of the grille to which the three dis- 
turbers were attached. Then all the women in the 
Gallery, Suffragettes, Suffragists and even anti- 
Suffragists were alike quickly bundled out. Next 
screwdrivers were brought and the attendants set to 
work to dismember the grille, and when this had 
been done the women and the great pieces of 
wrought brass work, to which they were still at- 
tached, were hauled out by the attendants and taken 
to Committee Room 15, where they were kept until a 
smith arrived to file through the chains. 

By this time the House had resumed Its ordinary, 
humdrum appearance, and the Members who had 
come in during the disturbance had all drifted away, 
but, as the Division bell rang and they came troop- 
ing back to vote, a man in the Strangers' Gallery 
shouted, "Why don't you do justice to women?" 
and was dragged out by a number of policemen, 
and within ten minutes afterwards a second man 
shouted, "Why don't you give votes to women?" 
and flung a shower of leaflets down amongst the 

At the same time several women were attempting 
to hold a meeting in the Lobby. The police flung 
them outside but they immediately climbed up to 
speak from the pedestal of the Richard Coeur de 
Lion statue, and whilst the constables clambered up 
after them, pulled them down and placed them under 
arrest, other Suffragettes made dash after dash to 
re-enter the House. Crowds quickly gathered and 
the confusion grew and fourteen women and one 

Mrs. Pankhurst in Prison 


man had been taken Into custody before the people 
were dispersed. 

Next morning the prisoners were brought up at 
the Westminster Police Court before Mr. Hop- 
kins. The first to be charged was Mr. Arnold Cut- 
ler, the man who had been arrested in the fray, and 
it was alleged that he had protested against the ac- 
tion of the police, crying, ** Shame 1 Leave the 
Wom:n alone!" and that when dragged away he 
had taken off his belt and " assumed a threatening 
attitude." He was fined 25 shillings. The women 
were more heavily punished, being each fined £5, 
and on refusing to pay were sent to Holloway for 
one month. 

Meanwhile, both in and out of Parliament, day 
after day, and week after week, Mr. Herbert Glad- 
stone was being urged to extend to the Suffragist 
prisoners, the treatment that his own father and 
every Liberal statesman had declared to be due to 
political offenders, and the protests were rendered the 
more pointed because at this very time there were 
a number of men political prisoners, serving sen- 
tences in Ireland, who were actually receiving all 
the privileges which were being demanded on be- 
half of the Suffragettes. These men were convicted 
of boycotting and cattle driving. They were al- 
lowed to provide their own clothing, furniture, 
food and malted liquor and to have their own med- 
ical attendant and medicines sent in to them at any 
time. They were allowed to smoke and to have 
books, newspapers and other means of occupation, 
to carry on their profession, if that were possible. 
They were allowed to correspond freely with their 
friends and to receive visitors every day, and were 



exempted from prison tasks. Their impri/sonment, 
in fact, entailed little more than the loss of Vreedom 
to come and go as they wished. The case W Mr. 
Farrell, M. P., who, whilst the Suffragette lo^aders 
were in Holloway gaol, was convicted of inciting to 
cattle driving, was technically parallel to that of 
Mrs. Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst, and Mrs. 
Drummond; but whilst both he and they were alike 
ordered to be bound over to keep the peace i nd to 
find sureties for their good behaviour; on their com- 
mon refusal, he was committed to prison in the First 
Division, whilst they were put in the second class. 

Meanwhile, news of the prisoners in Holloway 
had gradually filtered out to us, and the first messen- 
ger from them was Mrs. Drummond herself, who 
nine days after her imprisonment had begun, was 
suddenly and unexpectedly released. She then told 
us that on arriving 'in Holloway, Mrs. Pankhurst 
had at once announced to the authorities that the 
time had come when the Suffragettes would no longer 
submit to the degrading prison regulations which 
had hitherto been enforced upon them, and that she 
and her comrades would begin by refusing either 
to allow themselves to be searched or to change their 
clothes in the general public dressing room. She 
further stated that for her own part she was deter- 
mined to speak with her fellow political prisoners, 
both at exercise, and at any other time when they 
might happen to be together, for this was a right 
to which she considered all political prisoners were 
entitled. Seeing that it would be both difficult and 
troublesome to turn her from her purpose, the Gover- 
nor gave way upon the first point, and agreed that 
the Suffragist prisoners should be allowed to undress 


privately in separate cells; but in regard to any 
other matters he declared that the Home Secretary 
must be communicated with. Mrs. Pankhurst and 
Christabel, therefore, at once addressed petitions to 
Mr. Herbert Gladstone, claiming that as political 
prisoners both they and the other Suffragettes should 
be permitted to write and receive letters ; to associate 
with their fellow political prisoners; to receive visits 
from their friends; to attend to business matters as 
far as possible; to have books and newspapers sent 
in to them; to wear their own clothing, and to pro- 
vide their own food. Mr. Gladstone refused to 
comply with any of the requests, and the prison rules 
were enforced with all their accustomed vigour, ex- 
cept that for the first week Mrs. Pankhurst was al- 
lowed, without challenge, to speak to her fellow 
prisoners. On Sunday, November ist, however, the 
wardress suddenly called her out of the ranks, 
sharply reprimanded her for speaking and, when she 
refused to give a promise never to do so again, 
ordered her to return to her cell. Hearing this, the 
other Suffragettes came running across the yard and 
clustered around, giving three cheers for Mrs. Pank- 
hurst, whilst the wardress blew her whistle and 
dozens of others appeared to drive the Suffragettes 

It happened that on that same morning, she never 
could tell why, Mrs. Drummond's cell had not been 
unlocked at the time for exercise, and she had been 
left behind whilst the others had gone out into the 
yard. She was sitting wondering what had hap- 
pened, when she suddenly heard the sound of cheers. 
At once she hastily dragged her plank bed to the 
window and, clambering up, saw the Suffragettes in 


their prison dress, with numbers of wardresses after 
them, running across the yard in all directions. 
Then they disappeared and all was quiet. When 
next she was let out into the corridor and when she 
was taken to the chapel, she saw no sign of her com- 
rades, and though she asked the wardress for news 
of them, no answer was returned. It was on the 
same evening that a sense of growing weakness that 
had been upon her since her entrance into prison, 
overcame her and she must have fainted suddenly, 
for she was found by the wardress lying unconscious 
on the floor. She was carried to a hospital cell and 
put to bed, and as she begged for more air, the outer 
door was thrown open, and only the gate with which 
hospital cells are also provided, was closed. Soon 
afterwards, Mrs. Pankhurst, who occupied the next 
cell, passed along the corridor to fill her water can 
and through the bars was able to tell Mrs. Drum- 
mond briefly what had happened — that she herself 
was to remain under punishment, and to be deprived 
of both exercise and chapel until she would promise 
not to attempt to speak again. By the doctor's 
orders, Mrs. Drummond remained in bed until 
Tuesday, when the Governor and the Matron came 
to her and told her that the Home Secretary had 
given orders for her release. As soon as the officers 
had left her, she sprang up and rushed to the gate 
of her cell, calling out loudly to Mrs. Pankhurst, 
" The Home Secretary has ordered me out." " I 
am glad," was the reply, as the wardress came hurry- 
ing back to expostulate. 

On hearing Mrs. Drummond's story we at once 
decided that a demonstration of encouragement to 
our imprisoned comrades and of protest against their 


treatment by the authorities, must be held outside the 
gaol, and on the following Saturday evening a long 
procession of women, headed by a brass band and 
a little carriage, in which rode Mrs. Drummond and 
those of us who were to speak, and a brake filled with 
ex-prisoners in prison dress, assembled in Kingsway 
and set off for HoUoway gaol. All along the route 
cheering crowds gathered, and our procession grew 
as we marched, and when we reached HoUoway all 
the roads that encircle the prison were densely 
crowded with human beings. Wc stopped outside 
the main entrance to hold a meeting, but the masses 
of people were far too great for our voices to reach 
them and our horses, startled by the vast crowds 
which pressed closer and closer, showed signs of 
becoming restive. Mrs. Drummond therefore led 
off a cheer for the Suffragette prisoners inside and 
ithe crowd raised their voices with her again and 
again. Then we slowly encircled the prison three 
times, alternately cheering and singing the Women's 
Marseillaise : ^ 

Arise! Though pain or loss betide, 
Grudge naught of Freedom's toll, 
For what they loved the martyrs died 
Are we of meaner soul? 
Are we of meaner soul? 

Our comrades greatly daring 
Through prison bars have led the way, 
Who would not follow to the fray. 
Their glorious struggle proudly sharing? 

1 By Miss F. E. M. Macaulay. 


To Freedom's Cause till death 
We swear our fealty, 
March on! March on! 
Face to the dawn, 
The dawn of liberty. 

During the ensuing week two batches of our 
prisoners were released and each one carried out to 
us further disquieting news. Mrs. Pankhurst, who 
was still being punished, had been characterised by 
the authorities as a *' dangerous criminal," and, be- 
cause she still refused to pledge herself to perpetual 
silence, a wardress was constantly stationed outside 
her door to prevent any attempt at communication 
with her. It was rumoured also that she was very 
111 and this was confirmed by Mr. Gladstone in re- 
ply to questions by Members of Parliament, but my 
request, either to be allowed to see her for myself, 
or to send In her own medical attendant to Interview 
her, was denied. Again, on the following Saturday, 
we marched around the prison but this time accom- 
panied by crowds even greater than before. In the 
meantime, whilst many questions had been put In 
the House by Members of Parliament, the Suffra- 
gettes who had just been released had paid many 
visits to the Stranger's Lobby and eventually Mr. 
Gladstone agreed that Chrlstabel and Mrs. Pank- 
hurst should be allowed to spend one hour of each 
day together. At the same time he refused to allow 
Chrlstabel to write a book upon the Women's Suf- 
frage question for a firm of London publishers, to 
be published after her release, though It was well 
known that Mr, GInnell during his Imprisonment 


for inciting to cattle driving, had been allowed to 
write his book entitled Life and Liberty. 

On Saturday, November 19th, thirteen more 
prisoners were released and we learnt that a fort- 
night before there had been another so-called 
" mutiny " in HoUoway. Mrs. Leigh had been 
falsely accused of inciting the other Suffragette 
prisoners to mutiny, and as a punishment had been 
deprived of exercise and chapel for three days, and 
Miss Wallace-Dunlop determined to prove her in- 
nocence. Every prisoner has the right to lay a 
complaint before the Governor, but the application 
to see him is supposed to be made when the cell 
doors are first opened at six o'clock in the morning, 
and he afterwards visits the prisoner when and 
where he may think fit and usually in her own cell. 
It was necessary for Miss Wallace-Dunlop's purpose 
that he should come to her when all her fellow 
prisoners were together in order that each might 
give her testimony. She accordingly chose to make 
her application during the associated labour which 
Dr. Mary Gordon, the new lady Inspector, had in- 
stituted that summer. So at half past three that 
afternoon when the Suffragettes with a space of a 
yard between each other had seated themselves at a 
number of deal tables in one of the corridors and 
had settled down to make shirts and mail bags, she 
asked the wardress in charge to send for the 

By 5 -SO* when the time for associated labour was 

at an end, the Governor had sent no reply and the 

wardress gave the order, ** Return to your cells," 

but Miss Wallace-Dunlop gave a counter command : 


" Do not return to your cells." There had been no 
previous understanding between them, but the women 
sat firm, and when the order to leave was repeated 
they still did not move, leaving it to their leader to 
again explain that they would remain where they 
were until the Governor or his deputy should arrive. 
The wardress then sharply blew her whistle, where- 
upon crowds of tall wardresses appeared from all di- 
rections and lined the corridor in long rows. Then 
Miss Wallace-Dunlop rose. Those of us who know 
her can well imagine the scene. She has one of those 
faces that, when we recall them to our minds, we al- 
ways see as though lit up, turned towards a full light 
that streams upon them, and at the same time illu- 
mined from within. The spirit that glows within 
them is intensely vibrant with sympathy for others, 
yet though the sadness of others' sorrow finds instant 
reflection in them and we know that their hearts 
throb with the bitter pain of other hearts, a quiet 
gaiety is habitual to them and we think of them al- 
ways as brightly and serenely happy; it seems not 
possible for a shadow to fall across the clear purity 
of their minds. So we can plainly picture for our- 
selves her tall, slight, erect figure standing forth, and 
hear her gentle light-toned voice say to the women: 
" Set your backs against the wall and all link arms." 
Instantly they obeyed and stood where she had told 
them, looking firm and immovable though the offi- 
cials outnumbered them by more than ten to one. 
Then there was silence, and the wardresses made no 
move. At last steps were heard coming from a long 
distance — one always hears them away off in Hollo- 
way. Gradually they^ came nearer and nearer until 
the Governor arrived. Then the Suffragette leader 


stepped forward. " We have sent for you," she 
said gravely, " because we have a statement to make. 
One of our comrades has been unjustly punished." 
** You know I am always willing to listen to your 
statements," the Governor replied, " but I can do 
nothing to-night unless you return to your cells." 
Then, on his proniising to enquire into the whole 
matter. Miss Wallace-Dunlop was satisfied and she 
and her comrades quietly obeyed. 

But, when the Governor came round the cells next 
morning, he ordered that every Suffragette who had 
been present should appear before the visiting mag- 
istrates to answer to a charge of mutiny, and on the 
following day, they were each sentenced to from 
three to five days' solitary confinement and the asso- 
ciated labour, about which there had always been 
more labour than association, as the prisoners were 
forbidden to communicate, was abandoned altogether. 
Mrs. Leigh was still deprived both of Chapel and 
exercise, and the others who had caught an occa- 
sional glimpse of her, as she passed to fill her water 
can, stated that she appeared to be suffering very 
greatly from this close solitary confinement. 

. Again on the next Saturday we marched to Hollo- 
way, carrying before us a white banner inscribed 
with the text of the Women's Enfranchisement Bill. 
There we found the police on horse and foot mus- 
tered against us a thousand strong, barring the near- 
est approaches to the prison so that, although we 
again circled it, it was at so great a distance that only 
once, through a gap in the surrounding buildings, 
could we see its walls, and we doubted whether our 
voices, loud and numerous as they were, could be 
heard by the prisoners inside. 


Mrs. Birrell at City Temple. Mr. Lloyd Georgb 
AT Albert Hall. Release of Mrs. Pankhurst, 
Christabel Pankhurst, and Mrs. Leigh. 

During the autumn whilst Mr. Birrell had been 
visiting his constituency of North Bristol, Annie 
Kenney, the centre of whose flourishing West of 
England organising district, was in that town, had 
prevailed upon him to receive a women's deputation. 
In reply to this deputation Mr. Birrell had said that 
the Government did not intend to carry the Women's 
Enfranchisement Bill during that session; that many 
members of the Cabinet were strongly opposed to 
the idea of giving the women the vote on any terms ; 
that, in his opinion, the matter was not ripe for set- 
tlement, and also that he would not endanger his 
position in the Cabinet by pressing the question for- 
ward. He added that he was in favour of the en- 
franchisement of rate-paying widows and spinsters 
on the Municipal basis, but that he disapproved of 
qualified married women voting and that he would 
not support a measure to give adult Suffrage to 
women. This last point was exceedingly interesting. 
It clearly demonstrated the cynical character of the 
suggestion, made by Mr. Lloyd George and others, 
that to give votes to women on the same terms as 
men was not sufficiently democratic to be supported 



by a Liberal Government, for here was a Liberal 
Cabinet Minister declaring opposition to any wider 

On November 1 2th, Mr. Birrell spoke at the City 
Temple, the church of Mr. R. J. Campbell, the well- 
known initiator of the so-called ** New Theology." 
It was well known that the Suffragettes were present 
to heckle him, and the chairman tried to deter them 
by stating that Mr. Birrell had promised to give his 
** influential support to any measure giving a liberal 
extension of the franchise to women." The Suf- 
fragettes considered that this meant absolutely noth- 
ing at all, and continued to protest as earnestly as 
they could. The result was a terrible scene of vio- 
lence, in which large numbers of women were flung 
out of the church and dragged down the steps. The 
W. S. P. U. afterwards wrote to Mr. Birrell to ask 
what his statement had really meant. His answer, 
given through his Secretary, was simply and solely 
that he had " nothing to add to the reply which he 
gave recently to a deputation introduced by Miss 

Meanwhile, though the militant tactics were being 
condemned as vigorously as ever, sympathy for the 
militants and a desire for the franchise were rapidly 
spreading amongst women of all shades of opinion. 
The Women's Conservative and Unionist Franchise 
Society was formed about this time, and the Mar- 
gate and the Wallasey Women's Liberal Associations 
passed Resolutions dissolving themselves until women 
were enfranchised, whilst the Secretaries and Com- 
mittee members of other associations resigned their 
posts on the same ground. 

At this point Mr. Lloyd George wrote to the ex- 


ccutive of the Women's Liberal Federation offering 
to speak for them on Women's Suffrage in the Albert 
Hall. They agreed to his suggestion and it was 
announced that he would make a Government pro- 
nouncement. On this ground the organisers of the 
meeting approached the Committee of the W. S. 
P. U., asking that the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
should not be heckled, but we replied that unless we 
had an assurance that Mr. Lloyd George's pro- 
nouncement was to contain a Government promise to 
act, we could not comply with this request. As re- 
quests that we would alter our decision continued to 
pour in, Mrs. Tuke, our Honorary Secretary, wrote 
to Mr. Lloyd George on November 30th, stating 
that we would gladly ask our women not to interrupt 
him if he could assure us that the Government were 
really prepared to do something for the Suffrage 
Cause, and that, if he wished, we would pledge our- 
selves not to divulge his reply until after his speech 
had been delivered. Mr. George's only answer was 
a curt note stating that anything that he had to say 
in regard to the Government's attitude would be said 
in the course of his speech i^i the Albert Hall. 

There was no hint in the letter of any great 
Government pronouncement, but indeed everyone 
knew, the leaders of the Liberal women themselves 
knew, and in fact had admitted to us, that Mr. 
Lloyd George had nothing of importance to say. 
His speech was merely intended to pacify those 
women who were beginning to falter in their loyalty 
to the Liberal Party and to take the wind as far as 
possible out of the Suffragette sails. Mr. Lloyd 
George was as much responsible as any of his col- 
leagues for the present warfare. His own personal 


record in regard to the women's movement was not 
a good one. Therefore there was absolutely no 
reason for modifying, in his favour, the rule that 
all Cabinet Ministers must be heckled. Indeed his 
coming forward at this juncture to curry favour by 
offering empty platitudes was felt to be in the nature 
of adding insult to injury. When, on Saturday, De- 
cember 5th, the day of the Liberal Women's meeting 
arrived, the Albert Hall was girt by an army of 
mounted police. There was a general feeling of 
uneasy expectancy and everyone seemed suspicious of 
what his or her neighbour might be going to do. 
Bands of men stewards, known by their yellow 
badges, were massed in the corridors and stationed 
in groups at the end of every row of seats. Never- 
theless, in spite of the fact that these men had been 
obviously engaged for the forcible ejection of inter- 
rupters, in order to protect the promoters of the 
meeting from subsequent charges of brutality, " Of- 
ficials' Orders of the Day " were prominently dis- 
played, in which the stewards were counselled to " do 
no violence to any person," and the members of the 
Women's Liberal Federation were asked, whatever 
happened, to ** act as though they were soldiers, 
silent and steady under fire." 

Lady M'Laren, who presided over the meeting, 
rose to speak with obvious uneasiness, which was in- 
creased, when she suddenly realised that all the 
women in the front row of the arena, who had sud- 
denly removed their cloaks, were clothed as second 
division prisoners in dresses of green serge, blue and 
white check aprons and white caps, all stamped with 
the broad arrow. For sometime, however, all was 
quiet and it was not until Mr. Lloyd George had 


been speaking for some moments, and was proceed- 
ing to give various reasons why women were entitled 
to the franchise, that he was interrupted by a tall, 
graceful woman in one of the boxes. She declared 
that all present were agreed as to the justice of the 
cause and that a Government pledge to take action 
was alone required. The speaker was Helen Og- 
ston, B.Sc, of St. Andrew's University, and the 
daughter of Professor Ogston of Aberdeen. Her 
words were no sooner uttered than a man in the next 
box leapt over the barrier and struck her a blow in 
the chest, whilst several stewards sprang upon her 
from behind. She protested that she was prepared 
to leave the hall at once, but the men did not heed 
her and continued to pummel her in the most savage 
way. At this the audience were astonished to see 
her draw a whip from under her cloak and strike at 
one of her assailants. Immediately afterwards she 
was knocked down and disappeared.^ 

Now the whole hall was in uproar. Mr. Lloyd 
George strove to continue, weakly protesting that he 
was in favour of Women's Suffrage, but, ** Then 
why don't you do something?" and *' Deeds not 
words! Deeds not words! " came a clear bell-like 
cry. Again he went on to urge that he really was 
in favour, but was met by, ** Why don't you resign 
from a Cabinet that is hostile to women?" ** Our 
women are in prison." *' You run with the hare and 

1 Miss Ogston acted upon her own initiative in using the dog 
whip, and her intention was not known to the committee of the 
W. S. P. U. who felt, however, that they could not condemn her 
for seeking to protect herself. She employed the whip as a pro- 
test, not against ejection, but against the unnecessary violence 
to which she herself and other women had been subjected. 


hunt with hounds." Only one woman spoke at one 
time and each one merely fired a short, sharp, perti- 
nent interjection; but there were many of them, and, 
more than that, the raising of each woman's voice 
was the signal for a wild outburst of fury on the part 
of the stewards, who sprang upon the interrupter, 
silenced her by a blow under the chin or an im- 
promptu gag and, after flinging her either to the 
ground or across the seats, dragged her out head 
foremost, hitting her again and again. Some mem- 
bers of the audience struck with fists and umbrellas 
at the women who were being carried past. Others 
tried to protect them, but the latter were always set 
upon by the officials and speedily bundled out. 

Even outside in the numerous passages that sur- 
round the circular hall the ejectors, some of whom 
were heard to say that the affair was more amusing 
to them than a night at the Music Hall, would not 
allow their captives to escape and still continued to 
ill-treat them until they had finally flung them down 
the steps and out of the building. At last Mr. Lloyd 
George stopped — the scene was becoming too much 
even for him. He declared that he would rather 
sit down than be the cause of so much violence. 
" Yes, do sit down and stop it," a chorus of dis- 
tressed voices rose, but after a moment he went on 
again with the stale old reasons why women should 
have the vote. " We have known those for forty 
years," " We want your message," still the women's 
voices called, and each interruption meant an ejec- 
tion. " We shall get peace presently by this process 
of elimination," he said. " Yes, fling them ruthlessly 
out," his own words at Swansea were repeated, and, 
" You will never eliminate the Suffragettes from 


practical politics." For more than an hour the scene 
continued. Again and again Lady M'Laren inter- 
vened and secured a few moments' peace for Mr. 
Lloyd George to make his statement and again and 
again he himself promised to give the Government 
message but failed to do so, floundering back instead 
into a maze of arguments for and against the vote. 
** If Queen Elizabeth had been alive to-day," he 
ventured once, but, " She would have been in Hollo- 
way " came the retort, and then the protesting voices 
broke out afresh. Then at last, after a flight of 
oratory on the excellence and the importance to 
women of the measures already introduced by the 
Liberal Government, the declaration came. It was 
nothing but Mr. Asquith's old worn-out promise to 
introduce a Reform Bill and not to oppose a 
Women's Suffrage Amendment to it on certain con- 
ditions. The women reminded the Chancellor that 
the Prime Minister had relegated the introduction 
of the Reform Bill to " the dim and speculative fu- 
ture," but he protested that it would be introduced 
before the Parliament came to an end. He was asked 
how women were to prove the " demand " for their 
enfranchisement which was one of the conditions 
of the promise and his reply was, ** as the men 
showed their desire," but the women answered: — 
** Men burnt down buildings, they shed blood," and, 
** the Government has ignored our demonstrations." 
He was questioned as to the second condition that 
the Votes for Women amendment must be drafted on 
^* democratic lines," but though asked again and 
again " What is democratic? " he vouchsafed no re- 
ply and at last the cry, "Where Is the message? " 
broke out once more and a great white banner, with 


the inscription, " Be honest," was hung out from one 
of the boxes. 

Of course the W. S. P. U. was, as usual, much 
blamed for what had taken place. The heckling of 
Mr. Lloyd George was declared to be both foolish 
and wrong; nevertheless many newspapers protested 
strongly against the behaviour of the stewards of the 
meeting. The Liberal Manchester Guardian said 
that the ejections were effected " with a promptness 
that gave the chairman no opportunity for interven- 
ing," and in many instances " with a brutality 
that was almost nauseating." The Special Corre- 
spondent of the Standard spoke of the " grossly 
brutal conduct " of the stewards, declaring that 
" some of the worst acts of unnecessary violence took 
place within ten yards of the chairman's table, and 
therefore right under the eyes of Lady M'Laren 
and Mr. Lloyd George. The men responsible for 
the acts were stewards wearing the official yellow 
rosette. That I am prepared to swear to." At the 
same time the Manchester Guardian, in its leading 
article, though it condemned our action, admitted 
that Mr. Lloyd George's repetition of Mr. Asquith's 
promise was entirely unsatisfactory from the Votes 
for Women point of view. Many others took the 
same line, and the Conservative Globe said, " We 
see very genuine grounds for the impatience dis- 
played by the Suffragettes at the Albert Hall. Mr. 
Lloyd George must have known that the declaration 
he had to make would have infuriated any body of 
men." But the matter did not end with newspaper 
discussions. We had realised from the first time 
that we should be made to suffer in many ways. 
Again and again attempts had been made to break 


up meetings addressed both by Suffragettes and Suf- 
fragists, but the women were hardly ever afforded 
the protection of the police and, as their meetings 
were almost entirely officered by women stewards 
they were obliged to rely upon their own powers of 
persuasion and magnetic force of will to control their 
audiences. This the Suffragettes have always been 
prepared to do, but it was not always done without 

Already, at a meeting in Birmingham, Christabel 
had been assaulted with the bodies of dead mice and, 
on live mice being let loose at one of our meetings, 
a well-known Glasgow daily paper had suggested 
that rats or even ferrets might suitably be employed. 

After Mr. Lloyd George's Albert Hall meeting, 
such outbreaks of violence against us became for a 
time exceedingly frequent. At a meeting which I 
addressed just then for a Women's Suffrage society 
in Ipswich there was abundant evidence to prove that 
well-known Liberals in the town had bought shilling 
tickets of admission for a number of men whom they 
paid a further shilling each to create a disturbance 
and, as soon as I rose to speak, I was assailed by 
shouts and yells, the singing of a song especially 
composed and printed with this object, which had 
been distributed broadcast throughout the town, the 
rattle of tin cans and the ringing of bells. During 
my speech several free fights took place in the hall. 
Walking sticks and other missiles were sent flying 
through the air and an offensive smell of sulphuretted 
hydrogen was let out. The women who had pro- 
moted the meeting, whilst anxious that I should 
stand my ground, were in despair at the damage 
which they saw was being done to the hall, but, when 


they sent for the police to quell the disturbancfe the 
Chief Constable of the town declared that he had no 
power to act. His statement sounded strangely to 
Suffragettes who had seen the police always massed 
around the meetings of Cabinet Ministers, and had 
also frequently seen them brought in to eject women 

A few days after the Albert Hall meeting Helen 
Ogston herself spoke at Maidenhead, where a gang 
of men, some of them made up as guys and dressed 
in women's clothes, waved whips at her and finally 
drove the speakers from the platform. The only 
thing that the police could suggest was that the 
women should fly. 

At this time a by-election was in progress at 
Chelmsford and, in organising our campaign there, 
we had at first to contend with great disorder. On 
the opening night of the election the members of the 
National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies were 
entirely swept from their platform in the Market 
Square, whilst a mob of hooligans surrounded the 
lorry from which we were speaking and dragged it 
down a hill into the darkness away from the street 
lamps. Though, aided by steadier sections of the 
audience, we still succeeded in maintaining a sem- 
blance of order, as soon as we descended from the 
cart the rowdies crushed and jostled us so unmerci- 
fully that had it not been for some men who fought 
for us and who were seriously bruised in the struggle, 
we should have been trampled under foot. We were 
at last dragged for safety into the entrance hall of 
the Municipal buildings where a banquet was being 
held. The head waiter, who stood at the door, was 
exceedingly anxious to get rid both of us and the 


noisy crowd that remained clamouring outside, and 
we were therefore taken by an underground passage 
to the Police Court, and kept waiting there for an 

This sort of thing did not continue long in Chelms- 
ford, for, as has invariably been the case, as soon as 
the Suffragettes became known to the people, the 
hostility which was at first manifested towards them 
entirely disappeared. Mrs. Drummond was the 
heroine of this election, for the W. S. P. U. cam- 
paign was entirely organised by her. In the illus- 
tration she is shown distributing leaflets to the farm- 
ers in the Chelmsford Market Place at the close of 
her speech to them. The result of the poll was a 
fall of nearly twenty per cent, in the Liberal vote, 
and a piling-up of one hostile majority against them 
from 454 to 2,565, which was generally acknowl- 
edged in the constituency to be largely due to the 

The violence of the rowdies met with little rebuke 
from political leader writers and under the heading, 
" Sparrows for Suffragettes," the JVestminster Ga- 
zette stated, " Essex has just provided two amusing 
Suffragist Incidents," and described in the same spirit 
the letting loose of a flight of sparrows inside a hall 
where the women were speaking and the breaking 
up of a Suffragist meeting by boys who had rushed 
the speakers, and cast carbide on the wet roads. 

Consider the action of a body of women who, in 
order to obtain a share in the constitution, delib- 
erately decide to attend the meetings addressed by 
the members of a Government that has the power to 
grant them what they desire but withholds it. Con- 
sider also that these women are deprived by their 

The human letters dispatched by Miss Jessie Kcnney to 
Mr. Asquith at No. 10 Downing Street, Jan. 23, 1909 


sex of the principal constitutional means of pressing 
their claim and that their action is taken at great 
personal risk. Then contrast the action of these 
women with that of a crowd of men who, absolutely- 
careless of injuring either persons or property, and 
merely because they imagine that their victims are 
unpopular or opposed to those whom they believe to 
be their own political friends, deliberately set out 
with the intention of breaking up the meetings of 
women who are withholding no man's rights from 
him and who have no power to give rights to any- 
one, but who are merely struggling to obtain the 
franchise which their assailants themselves possess. 
Surely no one with an unprejudiced mind could con- 
sider that there is a parallel between the case of those 
particular women and those particular men. Party 
politicians had before them frequent examples of the 
two cases and they decided that there was no parallel. 
They decided that the action of the men was excus- 
able, but that the action of the women must be con- 
demned in the most emphatic terms and must be 
sternly repressed at any cost. 

A measure called the Public Meeting Bill provid- 
ing that any person who acted in a disorderly man- 
ner in order to prevent the transaction of the business 
for which a meeting had been called together should 
be rendered liable to a fine not exceeding £5 or to 
imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month, 
was therefore laid before Parliament by Lord Robert 
Cecil. As the slightest interjection or the most perti- 
nent question by a Suffragette had now become the 
signal for a scene of disturbance, it was clearly ap- 
parent that they would not be able to raise their 
voices at the meetings of Cabinet Ministers without 


rendering themselves liable to the suggested penal- 
ties. Though the Bill was introduced but a few days 
before the end of the Session, the Government at 
once provided for it the facilities which had been 
denied to that equally short measure to enfranchise 
the women of the country, and it was quickly rushed 
through the two Houses and became law before the 
end of the year. 

Party feeling on the one hand, and public indiffer- 
ence on the other, veiled for the time being the seri- 
ous and revolutionary nature of this measure and 
allowed it to be placed on the statute book with 
scarcely a word of discussion or protest. Neverthe- 
less it struck at one of our most ancient and funda- 
mental national customs. Describing the ancient 
governmental assemblies of the Saxon peoples 
Tacitus explains that though, as a rule, only the more 
distinguished members of the community put for- 
ward new proposals, all had a right to be present 
and the bystanders at once expressed their opinion in 
regard to all suggestions. He says : 

The eldest opens the proceedings, then each man speaks 
according as distinguished by age, family, renown in war or 
eloquence. No one commands, only the personal dignity re- 
siding in him exercises its influence. No distinction of rank 
exists ; the Assembly determines and its determination is law. 
Proposals, when deemed acceptable, are hailed with loud 
acclaim and clash of arms. A loud shout of dissent rejects 
what appears to be unacceptable. 

Our present system of Government is, after all, 
the direct descendant of these ancient assemblies. 
Largely owing to the distinctions of class which have 
sprung up and have grown more and more complex 



and at the same time more deeply marked because 
of the constant struggling of those who already pos- 
sess advantages of property and of education to add 
to these advantages a greater political power than 
their fellows by restricting the rights of those who 
are poorer and weaker than themselves many changes 
have been wrought. It has come about that our 
modern Parliament is elected by only a section of 
the people; and that almost the whole of the busi- 
ness transacted by Parliament is carried on by a smajl 
Cabinet of persons nominated by one man, himself 
pitch-forked into power by a possibly transient wave 
of popularity. Moreover, our existing system of 
party Government renders this small Cabinet almost 
all-powerful during its term of office and the strong 
party prejudice, obtaining both amongst Private 
Members of Parliament and the Press of the coun- 
try, secures that the Cabinet shall remain almost ex- 
empt from criticism, except by the followers of the 
opposing party. This criticism loses in influence and 
value because, for party purposes, it is directed al- 
most without exception against every act of the 
Cabinet, whether the act be in itself worthy or un- 
worthy. The section of the people who are entitled 
to vote and who elect the majority that makes the 
power of the Cabinet possible may, it is true, dis- 
miss them at the next general election if they disap- 
prove of the way in which their stewardship has been 
fulfilled ; but they cannot insist upon an election when 
they will and they have no power to decide that their 
representatives have done well in one respect and 
badly in another. It is only possible either entirely 
to accept what the representatives have done or to 
reject them altogether. 


There exists also the right of every section of the 
people to carry resolutions embodying their opinion 
in regard to matters of Government, which may 
either be published broadcast or presented in the form 
of petitions for redress of grievances to those in 
power. But what usually happens to resolutions and 
petitions put forward by those who have no political 
power is aptly expressed in the words of Mr. Ser- 
jeant HuUock, the Counsel who spoke for the Co- 
ercionist Government in one of the cases arising out 
of the massacre of Peterloo, which took place in 
1819, prior to the passing of the first reform Act. 
** If deliberation had been their object," he said, 
" could they not have settled their petition in a pri- 
vate room and then have sent it to the House of 
Commons, where it would have been laid on the 
table and never heard of again? " Nevertheless the 
old right of the by-standers, the right of the whole 
people to express their opinion in regard to sugges- 
tions put forward by powerful folk and to receive 
them either with shouts of approval or equally loud 
cries of dissent still exists and it exists — if it has 
not been altogether destroyed by the Public Meeting 
Bill — not merely for men, but for women. This 
right is constantly exercised when a member of the 
Government, and, to a lesser extent, a private Mem- 
ber of Parliament appears before a public meeting 
of the people to make proposals for fresh legislation 
and to give an account of his stewardship in the past. 
When he comes forward thus, the people, women as 
well as men, have the right to express assent or dis- 
sent with what he has done or with what he has left 
undone, with what he proposes and what he has 
omitted to propose. They have the right to ques- 


tion him and to demand an answer, to heckle him 
during his speech if they will, and if they will to cry 
out and refuse to let him speak until he has dealt 
with the thing which they have at heart, and if they 
believe that he has not dealt justly with that thing 
they have the right to decide that he shall not be 
heard. How else can he know the mind of the coun- 
try? How else can those who are without the Par- 
liamentary franchise express their will? There is 
no other way and this right is one of those upon 
which the people of these Islands have always in- 
sisted. Those who have said that if this right be 
exercised the right of free speech will be endangered 
do not realise what the right of free speech is. The 
right of free speech is the right of everyone to speak 
publicly and without penalty or restraint, of what 
seems important, and this old right to question and 
to express assent and dissent is included in it. It is 
the only refuge of those who have no political power. 
The right of members of the Government to speak 
freely can never be endangered, for they have Par- 
liament to speak from, the police and military at 
their beck and call to protect them and enforce their 
wishes, and the Press of the country all waiting to 
note down their words and publish them' broadcast 
throughout the land. The right of poor and vote- 
less people to be heard has been endangered by this 
Bill and so long as it remains on the Statute Book 
it is a standing menace to our ancient popular liber- 

Happily, up to now, the Bill has been practically 
a dead letter, but none can be sure that an instru- 
ment of coercion which exists will not be put into 
force. Had the movement for Women's Enfran- 


chlsement been a movement solely of poor women 
with others dependent upon them, as might have been 
the case, the new Bill might have proved a serious 
menace to the movement, but, as it happened, there 
was fortunately no lack of women who were able and 
willing to risk imprisonment. Therefore this Bill 
could make no difference to us. 

Nevertheless, though our members might not have 
left a crowd of starving children behind them, we 
well knew that their going to prison entailed many 
sacrifices and we always waited impatiently for their 
release and welcomed them back amongst us with 
the greatest joy. During the summer and autumn 
bands of women in white dresses had flocked to the 
gaol gates, had unhorsed the carriages provided to 
carry the prisoners to breakfast, and with purple, 
white and green ribbons had drawn them in triumph 
through the streets. With Scotch tartans and Scotch 
heather the Scotch women had been welcomed; four 
Irish colleens and an Irish piper and a jaunting car 
met Mrs. Tanner, an Irish woman, and women in 
prison dress marched from the station with Mrs. 
Baines on her return to London. When Mrs. Pank- 
hurst, Mrs. Leigh and Christabel were released, 
earlier than had been expected, on December 19th, 
women on white horses drew their carriage, and 
behind and before there marched long lines of W. S. 
P. U. members wearing white jerseys, purple skirts, 
and gaiters, green caps, and " votes for women " 

In the evening a meeting of welcome was held in 
Queen's Hall, and as Mrs. Pankhurst, Christabel, 
and Mrs. Leigh appeared all the organisers of the 


Union in their white dresses lined up and saluted them 
with tricolour flags, whilst the great audience of 
women sprang to their feet and cheered and waved 
and cheered again as few but Suffragette audiences 
can. Then Annie Kenney stepped forward holding 
in her hand a purple, white and green silk standard 
with an aluminum staff, bearing a gilt shield inscribed 
with the great dates in Christabel's career. 

When Christabel spoke she recalled the many thou- 
sands of Women's Suffrage meetings that had been 
held in this country and the work of the pioneers 
who had begun the agitation more than forty years 
before. These women had laboured well and de- 
votedly, yet they had not succeeded in gaining for 
women the Parliamentary vote. She believed the 
reason for this to be that they had relied too much 
upon the justice of their cause and not enough upon 
their strong right arm, for an idea had only life and 
power in it when it was backed up by deeds. What 
had been wanted was action and it was for this rea- 
son that the militant tactics had achieved so much 
already and would in the end succeed. The old 
methods of asking for the vote had proved futile, 
and not only were they futile, but they were humili- 
ating and unworthy of women. " I say to you," she 
said, " that any woman here who is content to appeal 
for the vote instead of demanding and fighting for it 
is dishonouring herself." The women who came 
into the militant movement did not fear suffering and 
sacrifice; they felt, not that they gave up anything 
for the movement, but that they gained everything 
by it. " Why," she cried, " the women of this 
Union are the happiest people in the world. We 


have the glorious pride of being made an instrument 
of those great forces that are working towards prog- 
ress and liberty." 

That note was struck again and again, and it 
was upon that note that the whole meeting rested. 
Loyalty, enthusiasm, courage, belief in a great 
cause, the joy of fighting for it, these things filled 
the air. No one could fail to be impressed by 
them. When Mrs. Pankhurst rose to speak some- 
one stepped forward and pressed into her hand a 
replica of a medal struck to commemorate the fall of 
the Paris Bastille in the French Revolution, because 
she had been born on the anniversary of that day. 
She was weakened and worn by her imprisonment, 
but her speech, brief and somewhat hesitating as it 
was, contained a pronouncement heralding impor- 
tant events, for it foreshadowed the hardest and bit- 
terest struggle to secure the rights of Political Of- 
fenders to British women political prisoners that had 
yet been fought. 

Two further events must be chronicled before clos- 
ing the story of the year 1908. The first is the 
fight of the Scottish women graduates for the recog- 
nition of their claim to vote under the Scottish Uni- 
versity Franchise which they carried right through 
to the House of Lords. Though they failed to 
establish their claim, they yet brought to light many 
valuable new facts in regard to the rights and privi- 
leges of their countrywomen in ancient times. One 
of their contentions was that the question as to 
whether they might vote should be decided accord- 
ing to the actual wording of the University Fran- 
chise Act and not according to the known, or sup- 
posed, intentions of Parliament, for that is the rule 


which the British Courts have agreed to be always 
the just and proper one to adopt. There was noth- 
ing in the words of the Act to prevent women gradu- 
ates from voting on equal terms with men, and even 
if it were held that this had happened because when 
the Act was passed the legislature had not foreseen 
the possibility of there ever being women gradu- 
ates, the right course to pursue (because it was the 
accepted course when such questions in regard to 
Acts of Parliament arose) was for the women to be 
allowed to vote until Parliament, if it chose to do 
so, should carry an amending statute. The gradu- 
ates pointed out that this had been done in the case 
of the first woman who had graduated in medicine, 
in the Netherlands where, as in England, graduation 
carried with it the right to vote. This lady had 
claimed her right and not being allowed to exercise 
it had taken her case to the Courts. For technical 
reasons the case had been postponed and during the 
postponement the Legislature had brought in a re- 
pealing enactment to prevent women graduates 
voting and had succeeded in carrying it. The rea- 
son for the refusal of the English authorities to take 
this course is clearly apparent, for it would have been 
difficult indeed for our Parliament to carry such a 
repealing measure in the face of the tremendous Suf- 
fragette and Suffragist agitation. 

The second of these two important happenings 
and perhaps the most auspicious one of the whole 
year, was the granting of votes to women in Victoria 
where, after struggling for many years, the Suf- 
fragists had at length succeeded in inducing their 
Government to take the matter up and had secured 
their enfranchisement on November i8th, 1908. 


Reminding the Cabinet Council of Votes for Women. 
Attempts by the Women's Freedom League to 
Interview Mr. Asquith. Arrest of Mrs. Despard. 
The Seventh Women's Parliament. Arrest of 
Mrs. Pethick Lawrence and Lady Constance 
Lytton. Mr. Geoffrey Howard's Reform Bill. 
The Eighth Women's Parliament. 

Speaking in December, 1908, on the policy of 
his Government in the New Year, Mr. Asquith had 
declared that the stream of advice as to what he 
should do next session was pouring in upon him 
** both night and day," and that he was constantly 
receiving deputations who came to him " from all 
quarters and in all causes, on an average of some- 
thing like two hours on three days in every week." 
These deputations all asked for different things, but 
were all agreed that " their measure must be 
mentioned in the King's Speech, and that the best 
hours, or at all events some of the best hours, of the 
session must be given to its special consideration. 
And the worst of it is," he went on, " that I am dis- 
posed myself to agree with them all, for, as each 
group in their turn come to me, I recognise in them 
some of our most loyal and fervent supporters." 

Thus Mr. Asquith was constantly receiving depu- 
tations of men and, as he here admitted, the deputa- 




tions were helping him to decide what measures he 
must include in the next King's Speech, but he again 
refused to receive a deputation of the women. 
Therefore, when the first Cabinet Council of the 
season met on January 25th, members of the 
Women's Social and Political Union called at No. 
10 Downing Street to urge their claims again as they 
had done last year. For knocking at the door, four 
of them were arrested, and at Bow Street, where 
for administrative reasons all Suffragette cases were 
in future to be tried, they were ordered to go to 
prison for one month. They went cheerfully, for 
Mrs. Clark, a sister of Mrs. Pankhurst, voiced the 
feelings of all when, during her trial, she said, ** I 
felt that it was not I who was knocking at the Prime 
Minister's door, but the great need of women knock- 
ing at the conscience of the nation, and demanding 
that justice shall be done." 

Next day it was the members of the Women's 
Freedom League who strove to obtain an interview 
with Mr. Asquith, and, in consequence, six of their 
number were arrested in Victoria Street, on their 
way to the Official residence; sixteen at the entrance 
to Downing Street ; and six, including Mrs. Despard 
and Mr. Joseph Clayton, a journalist, who protested 
on their behalf, at the door of the Stranger's En- 
trance to the House of Commons. The resulting 
sentences varied from one month to fourteen days' 

Little notice was given of these imprisonments, 
the Press evidently thinking such sensations stale; 
but those active inventive brains at Clement's Inn 
were determined not to be check-mated and were 
ever devising new stratagems and new surprises as 


a means of pushing the cause forward. When Mr. 
Churchill visited Newcastle to inspect a battleship, 
on December 4th and 5 th, he was approached on the 
first of these days no fewer than fifteen times, and 
on the second almost constantly, by women who met 
him at the station, at the door of his hotel, at a re- 
ception held in his honour, on the pier, on the launch, 
on the ship itself, and again at every turn on land- 
ing, and who presented him with copies of ** Votes 
for Women," urged the cause upon him in brief 
hurried reminders, and made speeches to him from 
neighbouring boats. Every other Minister was 
similarly waylaid. 

When Parliament met, and the King's Speech was 
found to contain no mention of ** Votes for Women,*' 
the W. S. P. U. decided that another Woman's 
Parliament must be held and another deputation of 
women must be sent out from it. Then again some- 
thing that had never been done before had to be 
contrived for focussing public attention upon this 
event. Quite opportunely the Post Master General 
happened to issue new regulations making it pos- 
sible to post " human letters." Of course it was 
at once determined to post some Suffragettes as let- 
ters to Mr. Asquith in Downing Street. Accord- 
ingly, on Tuesday morning, January 23rd, Jessie 
Kenney dispatched Miss Solomon and Miss Mc- 
Clellan from the Strand post office. Then, in 
charge of a little messenger boy, one carrying a 
placard inscribed '' Votes for Women, Deputation to 
the House of Commons, Wednesday,'' and the other, 
to the Right Hon. H. H. Asquith, 10, Downing 
Street, S. W., the two ladies marched off to the offi- 
cial residence. When they arrived the messenger 

The arrest of Miss Dora Marsden, the Standard Bearer, 
March 30th, 1909 


boy was invited inside, and the door was shut, but, 
after a few moments, it was opened again and an 
official appeared, saying to the women, ** You must 
be returned." " But we have been paid for," they 
protested, and he replied, " The Post Office must 
deliver you somewhere else, you cannot be received 
here." " An express letter is an official document," 
they persisted, " and must be signed for according to 
the regulations." But the official replied, " You can- 
not be signed for; you must be returned; you are 
dead letters." So there was nothing for it but to 
go back to Clement's Inn. 

Another day a facsimile of " Black Maria," the 
van which takes the prisoners to HoUoway, was seen 
driving through the town. It bore the inscription 
E. P. for Emmeline Pankhurst, instead of E. R., 
Edward Rex, and a man dressed almost exactly like 
a policeman rode on the back step. When the van 
reached Regent Street a body of women in imitation 
prison dress emerged and proceeded to distribute 
handbills to the passers-by and to chalk announce- 
ments of the forthcoming deputation to Mr. Asquith 
upon the pavement. The members of the Women's 
Freedom League also hit upon a new and striking 
advertisement, for Miss Matters, the heroine of the 
Grille scene, floated over the House of Commons in 
a cigar-shaped dirigible balloon painted with the fate- 
ful words, ** Votes for Women." 

Ridiculous, petty, even unworthy of serious people, 
you may think, were some of these methods of 
propaganda and advertisement, but the Suffragettes 
knew only too well that the cause which does not 
advance cannot remain stationary, but slips back into 
the limbo of forgotten things. On February 24th, 


the seventh Women's Parliament met in the Caxton 
Hall. Mrs. Pethick Lawrence sallied forth from it 
with a number of women in her train, but she and 
twenty-eight of her comrades, including Lady Con- 
stance Lytton and Miss Daisy D. Solomon, the 
daughter of the Late Prime Minister of the Cape, 
were soon arrested. Their trial took place before 
Sir Albert de Rutzen at Bow Street next day, and on 
refusing to be bound over to keep the peace they 
received sentences of from one to two months' im- 

There were now many members, both of the 
Women's Social and Political Union and of the 
Women's Freedom League, in HoUoway, and one 
day, whilst they were exercising together, a member 
of the latter organisation, Mrs. Meredith Mac- 
Donald, a lady in middle life, fell on the frosty 
stones. Two of her fellow prisoners ran to help her, 
but the wardress forced them away and, though she 
said she believed her thigh to be injured, she was 
forced to drag herself unaided to her cell. Her re- 
quest to see her own doctor was refused and not until 
she became unable even to turn in her bed was she 
removed to the prison hospital. When, at last, the 
ex-rays were applied, it was found that her thigh 
was fractured, and that, owing to the long delay and 
lack of proper treatment, she would be lame for life. 
The matter was reported to the Home Secretary with 
a demand for redress, but no result followed until 
June, 1 9 10, more than a year afterwards, when, legal 
proceedings having been instituted, the authorities at 
last agreed to pay Mrs. MacDonald £500 damages 
and her legal costs, amounting to an equal sum. 

Meanwhile a place for a Women's Suffrage meas- 

Elsie Howey as Joan of Arc, who rode at the head of the 

procession fonned to celebrate Mrs. Pethick 

Lawrence's release from prison 


ure had been won In the private Members' ballot by 
Mr. Geoffrey Howard, a Liberal Member of Parlia- 
ment and son of the Countess of Carlisle. Mr. 
Howard and the Women's Suffrage Committee of 
Liberal Members with whom he was working, de- 
cided to abandon the old equal Bill and to introduce 
a complicated Reform measure, on the lines of that 
foreshadowed by Mr. Asquith in his famous promise 
of the previous year, except that, in this case. Votes 
for Women was to form part of the original measure, 
instead of being left to come in as an amendment. 
Under this Private Members' Reform Bill the only 
condition required for registration as a Parliamen- 
tary voter was to be that the person registered, 
whether man or woman, should be of full age and 
have resided for not less than three months within 
the same constituency. It was estimated that the 
Bill would qualify some fifteen million new voters, 
twelve million of whom would be women,^ and 
would thus nearly treble the number at present en- 
titled to exercise the franchise. It would at the 
same time abolish plural voting. The professed ob- 
ject of bringing forward this measure was to meet 
the stipulation put forward by Mr. Asquith and Mr. 
Lloyd George that votes should not be given to 
women except on ** democratic lines." 

On Friday, March 19th, the Bill came up for 
Second Reading and Mr. Howard, in explaining its 
provisions, said that he had no hope of carrying It 
into law, but merely wished to " clear the air " for 
the Reform Bill promised by the Government. Sir 
Charles M'Laren said that he hoped this Bill might 

1 Estimate given by the Liberal Daily Chronicle, 


help the Government to come to some decision as 
to the manner in which they would deal with the 
Women's Suffrage question next year, but when Mr. 
Asquith arose to make the expected Government pro- 
nouncement, he declared that the opinion of the 
Government was unchanged and entirely unaffected 
by the introduction of this Bill. He added, however, 
that there were certain proposals contained in the 
measure of which he approved, but carefully ex- 
plained that his approval only extended so far as the 
Bill referred to men. Though he was aware that 
the measure would not be pressed beyond a Second 
Reading, he stated that the members of the Govern- 
ment would abstain from voting either for or against 
it. The whole debate, therefore, ended in fiasco, 
and had been merely a wasted opportunity. After 
Mr. Asquith's pronouncement the House divided and 
there voted, 

For the Bill 157 

Against the Bill 122 

Majority for the Bill 35 

It will be thus seen that this Bill of Mr. Howard's 
secured a very much smaller measure of support than 
that which had been accorded to the equal Women's 
Enfranchisement Bill in the previous year, for the 
figures had then been: For the Bill 271, against 92. 
Majority for the Bill 179. 

The Women's Social and Political Union now de- 
cided that another deputation should attempt to 
obtain an interview with Mr. Asquith, and an eighth 
Women's Parliament was held on March 30th. 
Mrs. Saul Solomon, widow of the Governor General 


of South Africa, an elderly, motherly figure, volun- 
teered to lead its deputation of thirty women who 
were to carry the usual resolution to the House, 
whilst Miss Dora Marsden, B.A., of Manchester, 
looking exactly like a Florentine angel, marched be- 
fore with a purple-white-and-green standard an- 
nouncing the arrival of the deputation. As soon as 
the women reached the street, the usual pushing and 
hustling by the police began, and after an hour's 
brave struggle, eleven of them were arrested. Next 
day nine of those who had not been taken again 
returned to the charge, and eventually the twenty 
women were sent to prison at Sir Albert de Rutzen's 
orders, nineteen of them for one month and Patricia 
,Woodlock, because she had served several sentences 
already, for three. 

On April i6th, Mrs. Pethick Lawrence, our dear 
treasurer, was released, and we were able to tell her 
that no less than £8,000 had been collected by the 
sacrifice of our members during self-denial week. A 
great procession was formed in her honour and 
marched from the Marble Arch to the Aldwych 
Theatre, where she was to speak. What a day it 
was to welcome anyone from prison 1 The trees 
were just bursting into leaf, and the brilliant April 
sunshine glistened on the silver armour of Elsie 
Howey, who represented Joan of Arc, the warrior 
maid, whose Beatification was taking place that very 
day, and rode at the head of the procession, astride 
her great white charger, with the brisk wind blowing 
back her fair hair, and gaily fluttering the purple- 
white-and-green standard which she bore. Then 
came women and girls with flowers and banners, and 
Mrs, Lawrence's own carriage covered with flags, 


and everywhere were the purple-whlte-and-green 
colours, except at one point where the American dele- 
gates to the International Women's Suffrage Con- 
gress, then sitting in London, rode in a carriage 
draped with their own stars and stripes. Inside the 
theatre the platform was covered with flowers sent 
by hundreds of members and friends, and there too 
the American delegates had added their tribute, a 
little silk copy of their national flag. 

It was a wonderful speech that Mrs. Lawrence 
then delivered, full, not only of enthusiasm and deep 
feeling, but of logic and common sense, and of un- 
answerable arguments for the women's cause. She 
reminded us that she and her fellow Suffragists had 
gone to prison in support of the old English Con- 
stitutional maxim that taxation and representation 
should go together. Before she had gone to prison, 
she told us, a birthday book had been shown to her 
that had been got out for a Church bazaar. In that 
book Mr. Asquith had been asked to write his fav- 
ourite quotation with his signature, and this fav- 
ourite quotation of Mr. Asquith's had turned out to 
be, " Taxation without representation is tyranny." 
Many stories she told us of what she had seen and 
heard in prison. One morning the Chaplain had 
come into the hospital where she was, and had called 
up an old woman to speak to him. Everyone there 
had heard the conversation that passed between them, 
and had learnt in reply to his peremptory questioning 
her name, her age, the length of her sentence, and 
so on. She was seventy-six, unmarried, and for 
the first time in her long life she was now imprisoned 
because she could not pay her rent and taxes £3 1 6s. 
" I keep a lodging house for workingmen," she said. 





" It has been a very bad winter for my lodgers, and 
they have not been able to pay me." " This woman 
was quite good enough to pay taxes," said Mrs. 
Lawrence, ** this old woman of seventy-six, and to go 
to prison when she could not meet the taxes, and yet 
she was not counted fit to exercise a vote." 

Mrs. Lawrence also told us of a conversation be- 
tween herself and the chaplain. " I have heard a 
great deal of you, Mrs. Lawrence," he had said. 
" You have started holiday homes for girls. I wish 
you would start a holiday home for wardresses. 
You see they work very hard — twelve hours a day. 
They very often break down, and then they have not 
enough money to go away for a holiday." " I 
looked at him in amazement," Mrs. Lawrence told 
us, " to think that a Government servant should 
come to me, a voteless woman, and suggest that I 
should supply a deficiency created because our legis- 
lators do not pay their women servants enough." So 
argument followed argument, and there were many 
Suffragettes who joined the Union on that day. 

Ever since the night on which the members of the 
Freedom League had chained themselves to the grille 
and pieces of that historic monument of prejudice 
had been taken down, whilst two men in the 
Stranger's Gallery had loudly demanded votes for 
women, the galleries had been closed and though 
Press representatives had still leave to come and go, 
as far as the general public was concerned, the House 
had sat in secret conclave for six months. Mem- 
bers of Parliament found the exclusion of all vis- 
itors to the House to be exceedingly inconvenient, 
and at last the Government introduced what it called 


a. " Brawling Bill " which was to settle the question 
by providing that : — 

Any person, not being a member of either House of Par- 
liament, while present in the Palace of Westminster during 
the sitting of either House who is guilty of disorderly con- 
duct or acts in contravention of any rule or order of the 
House in respect of the admission of strangers, shall be guilty 
of misdemeanour and liable to summary conviction and im- 
prisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine 
not exceeding £ioo. 

In bringing the Bill forward the Attorney Gen- 
eral urged that though the House could already 
punish strangers who broke its rules by committing 
them to Newgate prison, their imprisonment there 
could only last whilst the House was sitting, so that 
those who committed an offence towards the close of 
the session would be too easily let off. Moreover the 
House had not the power to punish offenders without 
debate and for it to suspend its consideration of 
" high matters " in order to discuss the cases of per- 
sons, who, though he declared that no offence could 
be more serious than theirs, he yet characterised as 
unworthy in themselves of ** further consideration 
than any ordinary police magistrate could give them,'* 
was to play the game of the disturbers and to give 
them the maximum of advertisement with the mini- 
mum of punishment. When someone pointed out 
that all accused persons liable to six months' impris- 
onment were entitled to trial by jury, he at once 
stated that he should prefer to reduce the proposed 
term of imprisonment to three months. Finally he 
recommended the Bill to the House as one that would 
" save its time and safeguard its dignity." 


Lord Balcarres urged that anyone charged under 
the Bill would have the right to subpoena the Speaker 
or the Chairman of Committee who had witnessed 
the occurrence complained of to give evidence at the 
trial. It would be impossible, he said, to say that 
Mr. Speaker must not be summoned because he rep- 
resented " the quintessence of the collective wisdom 
of the House of Commons," and " it would be a 
most deplorable thing if the Speaker and other offi- 
cials and Members of the House were to be hauled 
into court for no other reason than to draw public 
attention to the Police Court proceedings, and to 
make sensational paragraphs in the evening papers." 
Mr. Mooney, an Irish member, said amid great 
laughter, that he thought the Bill must have been 
drafted in the neighbourhood of Clement's Inn, be- 
cause of the advertisement which it would give ** to 
certain propagandists," whilst Mr. Hazleton de- 
clared that the Government were merely setting up 
an act of Parliament '* as an Aunt Sally for every 
Suffragette to come along and have a shot at." 

Mr. Keir Hardie stated that in his opinion the 
Bill was only necessary because of the failure of 
members of the Government, and Members of the 
House to redeem their election pledges in regard to 
Women's Suffrage, and that it was because women 
felt that they could no longer appeal to the honour 
of the House of Commons, that they had taken to 
extreme measures. 

In his reply the Attorney General ignored this lat- 
ter view of the case, but dealt at length with the right 
of summoning witnesses, pointing to the setting aside 
of the subpoenas to Mr. Asquith and Mr. Herbert 
Gladstone, in the case of Mrs. Baines' trial at Leeds, 


as a proof that this could easily be done again to 
protect the officers of the House, and especially the 
" great officers " from being summoned. He 
promised that stringent provisions with this object 
should be added in committee, saying " I do not 
think the House need trouble itself with that objec- 

Evidently, therefore, the gradual sweeping away 
of every safeguard of a free people against coercion, 
which had been won for us by the suffering and sac- 
rifice and ceaseless effort of generations of our fore- 
bears, was as nothing to the Government, in com- 
parison with the staving off of the Women's claim to 
vote. Now it was one of the fundamental rights 
of the accused person that they were proposing to 
tamper with, but the House would not agree. Sir 
Edward Carson, whilst expressing doubt as to the 
practicability of the Government's proposals, pro- 
tested emphatically against the suggestion that ther^ 
should be a law of subpoena for the House of Com- 
mons different to that which prevailed in the rest 
of the land. Finally the Prime Minister rose to say 
that though, after the trouble that had been taken in 
drafting it, he did not like to withdraw the Bill al- 
together, he yet thought that further time should be 
given for consideration, and that the debate should 
be adjourned. 

The Brawling Bill was never heard of again. Its 
final death-blow was dealt on April 27th, exactly 
a week after it had been discussed, when five Suffra- 
gettes effectively showed that no threat of a Brawling 
Bill could prevent them from demonstrating in the 
House of Commons by entering St. Stephen's Hall 
and chaining themselves to the statues of five men — 


Walpole, Lord Somers, Selden, and Lord Falkland, 
whose names are famous in the struggle for British 
Liberties in Stuart days. Having so chained them- 
selves, the women addressed the visitors and Mem- 
bers of Parliament, explaining that they themselves 
were engaged in fighting for the liberties of one- 
half of the British people. With strong pincers the 
police succeeded in breaking the chains, but there 
was no prosecution and shortly afterwards the 
Speaker announced that both the Ladies' and Stran- 
gers' Galleries were to be reopened on certain condi- 
tions. Before being admitted each visitor must now 
subscribe his or her name and address to the follow- 
ing printed pledge : 

I undertake to abstain from making any interruption or 
disturbance and to obey the rules for the maintenance of 
order in the Galleries. 

Having signed the pledge, men visitors were to 
be absolutely trusted, but women were treated as 
having absolutely no sense of honour, for no woman 
was to be permitted to get even so far as the signing 
of the pledge, unless she happened to be related to 
a Member of Parliament and no Member was to be 
allowed to introduce any lady to the gallery unless 
he had previously won a place for her in the ballot. 

On May 13th, the Women's Social and Political 
Union opened in the Prince's Skating Rink, Knights- 
bridge, a Votes for Women Exhibition in the 
purple, white and green. Mrs. Lawrence and the 
Committee of the Union were driven thither by a 
woman chauffeur in a motor car for which the Suffra- 
gettes had subscribed in order that they might present 


It to the Treasurer on her release from prison. 
The Rink was covered outside with a mass of waving 
flags in the colours, and inside these also pre- 
dominated. The theme of the decorations which 
lined the walls of the great central hall was " They 
that sow in tears shall reap in joy and he that 
goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed, shall 
doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his 
sheaves with him." And indeed in those bright 
spring days at the Skating Rink, though the vic- 
tory of the franchise was not yet won, some of the 
fruits of the struggle were already present in the 
glad comradeship of the workers. Everyone 
seemed to be full of high spirits, and all were keenly 
interested in the success of the enterprise and, in 
spite of the strenuous militant tactics in which they 
were engaged and of all the propaganda work which 
they were accomplishing, every branch of the Union 
and every organising centre, had its stall laden with 
goods. Friends from all over the world had sent 
their contributions, and the Norwegian delegates to 
the International Suffrage Congress had a stall of 
their own in aid of the W. S. P. U. funds. 

But this was no mere bazaar, for at every turn one 
was reminded of Votes for Women. Each day as one 
entered, a ballot paper was always pressed into one's 
hand and every visitor to the exhibition was invited 
to record a vote upon some question of the moment ; 
the ballot box and everything connected with the 
voting being arranged just exactly as it is in Par- 
liamentary Elections. At one end of the hall was a 
facsimile of a prison cell, in which sat a woman in 
second division prison dress who herself had actu- 
ally been to HoUoway and could explain exactly 


how the bed was rolled and the tins were cleaned. 
Side by side with this was the sort of cell 
which may be occupied by men political prisoners. 
Ranged along one wall were glass cases containing 
clever little cartoon models, prepared by sculptors 
in the Union and showing numerous representations 
of Cabinet Ministers in their various encounters with 
the Suffragettes. Amongst a host of others, there 
was Mrs. Pankhurst and her deputation at the door 
of the House of Commons with the Cabinet Min- 
isters hiding fearfully behind a group of stalwart 

Then there was a picture gallery of Press photo- 
graphs showing the history of the militant movement, 
and there were entertainments, all about Votes for 
Women, by those ardent Suffragists, the members of 
the Actresses Franchise League. 

The exhibition lasted a fortnight, and at the end 
of the first week, came a great surprise, for a 
women's drum and fife band, consisting of members 
of our Union, who had been practising in secret for 
months past, now dressed in a specially designed uni- 
form of purple, white and green, formed up in the 
centre of the rink and with Mrs. Leigh as Drum 
Major, marched out playing the ** Marseillaise," and 
then went round the town to advertise the exhibi- 

Hundreds of new members were made during the 
fortnight, and perhaps the smallest part of the whole 
achievement was that £5,564 was added to the 
W. S. P. U. campaign fund. Altogether it was de- 
cided that the Exhibition in the Colours was the 
smartest, brightest and cheeriest exhibition that any- 
one had ever seen. Strangers visiting it isaid. 


" What happy women you Suffragettes are ; we never 
thought you were like that! " To those who read 
of this movement in future years it may seem strange 
that, in spite of the unremitting character of the 
struggle the Suffragettes, when not actually engaged 
in the fighting line, should have been so generally 
merry and light hearted. W. D. Howells, in his 
Venetian Life, and others, tell us that whilst Venice 
was dominated by Austria the whole town was under 
a cloud; the Italians gave no balls, dinners or 
entertainments, and even the great Opera House 
was closed. But the attitude of the Suffragettes was 
perhaps more in keeping with the English character. 
Have we not heard that though the Spanish Armada 
had long been expected, Drake and the other great 
sea fighters were playing bowls when the news came 
that it was in sight? And now, whilst the Exhibi- 
tion ^ was in progress the fighting campaign was 
going forward all over the country as briskly as 

The protests in connection with Cabinet Ministers' 
meetings continued almost daily and, whilst the 
strictest precautions were taken to keep them out, 
the greatest ingenuity was displayed by them in ob- 
taining an entry. At a meeting of Mr. Birrel's in 
the Colston Hall, Bristol, two women were found 
to have hidden themselves amongst the pipes of the 
organ. When the same Minister spoke with Lord 
Crew at Liverpool, Mary Phillips, who had lain 
crouching for twenty-four hours amid the dust and 
grime in a narrow space under the organ, was there 
to remind them of Patricia Woodlock, the Liverpool 

1 The Freedom League had also held a successful and inter- 
esting Green White and Gold Fair at the Caxton Hall. 

The band out for the first ti 


Suffragette, who was then serving a sentence of three 
months' imprisonment in HoUoway gaol. 

Meanwhile during the spring of 1909, eight by- 
election contests had been fought at Glasgow, 
Hawick Burghs, Forfar, South Edinburgh, Croydon, 
East Edinburgh, the Attercliffe Division of Shef- 
field, and Stratford-on-Avon. 

The Scotch constituencies, with the exception of 
Glasgow, which is not typically Scotch, were the most 
difficult to fight, for the majority of the Scotch peo- 
ple have long been so rootedly Liberal that a very 
exceptional degree, not only of sympathy with the 
cause but of belief in the by-election policy, was 
needed to induce any of the electors to alter their 
old allegiance, and tp allow a Conservative to be 
returned. Nevertheless the Liberal majority was 
in every case reduced. In Glasgow the seat which 
had been held by a Liberal was wrested from 
the Government by a Liberal majority of 21 13. 
At Croydon the Liberal Candidate was also defeated 
by a greatly increased majority, for whilst in 
the general election it had been 638 it was now 
3,948. The elections at Attercliffe and Stratford- 
on-Avon were perhaps the most striking of the 
series. In the former contest the Liberals strove to 
counteract the Suffragette influence in numerous ways, 
including the issuing of leaflets with such headings as, 
COUNTER." In these documents they tried to 
lead the public to think that the police, and not the 
Government in power, were responsible for the Suf- 
fragist imprisonments. When the result of the 


polling was made known, it was found that the 
Liberal nominee had been placed third on the poll, 
having secured less than half the votes which had 
been cast for his party in the last election. 

At Stratford-on-Avon, another Liberal seat, the 
Government candidate was again routed, this time 
by a majority of 2,627 votes. 



The Ninth Women's Parliament. Attempt to In- 
sist ON THE Constitutional Right of Petition as 
Secured by the Bill of Rights. Arrest of Mrs. 
Pankhurst and the Hon. Mrs. Haverfield. Miss 
Wallace Dunlop and the Hunger Strike. The 
Fourteen Hunger Strikers in the Punishment 
Cells. Mr. Gladstone Charges Miss Garnett 
WITH Having Bitten a Wardress. Her Acquittal. 

When the authorities had first raised the threat 
of punishing women under the Statute thirteen, 
Charles II, for proceeding to Parliament in a body 
of more than twelve persons with the object of pre- 
senting a petition to the Prime Minister, the Suffra- 
gettes had decided to defy the Statute. We were 
indignant at the proposal to enforce against us in the 
supposed free and enlightened days of the twentieth 
century, a coercive law passed in a bygone time of 
great upheaval and of great tyranny. Moreover 
the police authorities had stated that if tried under 
this Statute of Charles II the Suffragette cases must 
be decided by a judge and jury instead of being 
hustled through the Police Court. Deputation after 
deputation of more than twelve women had there- 
fore gone forth but though these women had again 
and again been seized and imprisoned for periods as 
long as that prescribed by that Act, the authorities 



still did not charge them under the Act of Charles 

At last, as the seriousness of the whole position 
grew, our committee decided that It would be 
wisest to comply with the very letter of the law and 
to stand on the constitutional right of the subject to 
petition the Prime Minister as the seat of power. 
We were advised that the right of petition, which 
had been to some extent limited by the Act of 
Charles II, had existed from time Immemorial. It 
had been confirmed by the Bill of Rights which be- 
came law In 1869, at the beginning of the joint 
reigns of William and Mary, as one of the securi- 
ties for the liberties of the British people, the com- 
plete preservation of which had been a condition of 
the accession of that King and Queen. The Bill of 
Rights declares that: " It Is the right of the sub- 
ject to petition the King and all commitments, and 
prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal." As 
the power of the King had now for all prac- 
tical purposes passed Into the hands of Parliament, 
the Prime Minister, as the chief Parliamentary offi- 
cial, had become the King's representative and there- 
fore the right to petition the Prime Minister clearly 
belonged to each and every member of the 'Com- 
munity. This right, though It should always be 
zealously guarded. Is of course most essential In the 
case of persons placed outside of the pale of the 

A ninth Women's Parliament having been called, 
Mrs. Pankhurst wrote to Mr. Asquith stating that 
a deputation from the Women's Parliament would 
wait upon him at the House of Commons at eight 
o'clock on the evening of June 29th. She Informed 

JUNE AND JULY, igog 381 

him further that the deputation could accept no re- 
fusal and must insist upon their constitutional right 
to be received. 

The Prime Minister returned a formal refusal to 
receive them but the women proceeded with their 

On Tuesday, June 21st, exactly a week before the 
day fixed for the Women's Parliament, Miss Wal- 
lace Dunlop, visited the House of Commons with 
a gentleman who left her and went on into the lobby 
to interview a member of Parliament. She passed 
into St. Stephen's Hall and sitting down on one of 
the seats there, unfolded a large block covered with 
printers' ink. She was pressing this block to the 
stone wall, when a policeman rushed up, and dragged 
her hurriedly away, but there remained displayed 
upon the wall the words: 

JUNE 29th. 


It is the right of the Subject to 
petition the King and all commit- 
ments and Prosecutions for such 
petitioning are illegal. 

Miss Wallace Dunlop was taken to the police In- 
spector's office opening out of the Palace Yard, but, 
after an impression of her notice had been solemnly 
made on a sheet of blotting paper, she was allowed 
to go. She had been pulled away too speedily to 
look at her own handiwork in St. Stephen's Hall, 


and the policemen told her that it was " only a 
smudge." Two days later, therefore, she sqt out 
to make a second attempt to stamp on the wall of 
St. Stephen's her reminder to Parliament that the 
people's liberties must not be violated. She was able 
to carefully affix her notice before a policeman ap- 
peared, but she was not to be let off this time. On 
June 22nd she was tried for wilfully and maliciously 
damaging the stone-work of the House of Com- 
mons. She urged in her defence that any damage 
which she had caused by affixing the notice was 
entirely outweighed by the great constitutional issue 
which it had been her intention to Impress upon 
the Members of the House of Commons. " It is 
claimed by the prosecution," she said, " that it cost 
ten shillings to erase the Impression of the first 
notice and that It will cost probably a similar sum 
to wipe out the second. It seems to me that it 
would have been better If the authorities had spent 
no money at all but had let the impression stay." 
She was found guilty and ordered either to pay a 
fine of £5 and £1. i. 2 damages or in default to 
undergo one month's imprisonment in the third di- 
vision without hard labour. 

Meanwhile very great interest had been aroused 
in the attempt of the Suffragettes to force the Prime 
Minister to receive them by Constitutional means. 
There was keen discussion as to what would happen 
and, when the fateful Tuesday came, vast throngs of 
people, greater perhaps than at any other demonstra- 
tion, lined the streets In the neighbourhood of Par- 
liament. In the House of Commons itself there 
was a strong feeling that the deputation should be 
received and this was expressed at question time by 

Christabel waving to the hunger strikers from a house 
overlooking the prison, July, 1909 

JUNE AND JULY, 1909 383 

many Members. Mr. Keir Hardie asked the 
Speaker whether it was by his instructions tha^t a 
deputation of eight or nine ladies was to be pi'o- 
hibited from entering the House, but Mr. Speaker 
replied that this was the first he had heard of it and 
that he had issued no instructions. When the same 
question was put to the Home Secretary he also an- 
swered, " I gave no instructions," and declared that 
it was the police who had the responsibility of keep- 
ing the approaches of the House open. Mr. Hugh 
Law asked leave to move the adjournment of the 
House on a matter of urgent public importance, 
namely, the refusal of the Prime Minister to receive 
the deputation and the consequent grave and im- 
mediate danger to the public peace, but the Speaker 
refused, saying that the question had been before 
the House for at least two years. Mr. Keir Hardie 
then asked if the Home Secretary would give in- 
structions that so long as the deputation was orderly 
it should be admitted to St. Stephen's but Mr. Glad- 
stone refused to accept responsibility, saying, '* I can- 
not say what action will be right or wrong for the 
police to take." 

At half past seven the Women's Parliament met 
and a Petition to the Prime Minister having been 
adopted Mrs. Pankhurst, Mrs. Saul Solomon of 
South Africa, Miss Neligan who from 1874 to 1901 
had been head mistress of the Croydon Girls' School 
and was now 76, and five other women were duly 
appointed to present it straightway. Then Miss 
Vera Holme was dispatched on horseback with an 
advance letter announcing that the deputation was 
about to appear. With all possible speed she rode 
on, forging her way through the masses of people, 


until, close to the House itself, she was met by a 
body of mounted police, who demanded her busi- 
ness. She handed the letter for Mr. Asquith to the 
Inspector but he merely flung it on the ground where 
it was lost to sight amongst the crowd. ^ 

Meanwhile the little deputation of eight women 
were preparing to leave the Caxton Hall and the 
Women's Drum and Fife Band ranged up the steps 
was playing out to them the Marseillaise. The 
shrill, shrill notes of the fife, were a call to battle, 
the heart beat quicker in unison with that drum- 
ming and the breath came hard and short. On the 
deputation went whilst the cheers of their comrades 
mingled with the deeper answering cheer of the 
crowd outside. On they went up Victoria Street 
and all the way from the masses who watched them 
was heard no single cry against them, nothing but 
one great cheer. They pressed on, first Mrs. Pank- 
hurst in her light coat, then the two little old ladies 
and the other women following behind, but just at 
the corner of St. Margaret's Church a long line of 
police on horse and foot blocked the road. For a 
moment there was a strange pause and the crowd 
was hushed. Then the police lines opened and the 
deputation passed through to the clear space around 
the House. The crowd cheered and they were lost 
to sight. 

Everyone believed that the women were to be re- 
ceived. But St. Stephen's was closely guarded by 
police and, as the deputation reached it. Chief In- 
spector Scantlebury stepped forward and handed a 
letter to Mrs. Pankhurst. She opened it and read 

^ It was afterwards brought back to Clement's Inn by a 
stranger who found it still unopened. 

JUNE AND JULY, igog 385 

aloud : " The Prime Minister, for the reasons which 
he has already given in a written reply to their re- 
quest, regrets that he is unable to receive the pro- 
posed deputation." Then she let the missive fall 
to the ground and said, " I stand upon my right as 
a subject of the King to petition the Prime Minister. 
I am firmly resolved to stand here until I am re- 
ceived," but, even whilst she was speaking, Inspector 
Scantlebury turned away — he would not wait to 
hear her statement. She called to him to stay and 
pleaded with the bystanders. Members of Parliament 
and others, to bring him back to listen but he disap- 
peared through the door of the Stranger's Entrance. 

Then Mrs. Pankhurst turned to Inspector Jarvis, 
appealing to him, or to anyone, to take her message 
to the Prime Minister, but she was merely told to 
go away. " I absolutely refuse," she said, and the 
other ladies chimed in, " We absolutely support Miss 
Pankhurst." At tnat, whilst the rows of Members 
of Parliament policemen and newspaper reporters 
looked on with interest. Inspector Jarvis seized Mrs. 
Pankhurst by the arm and began to push her away. 

There was no hope now that the deputation would 
be received and she well knew that if the women 
persisted in their demand to enter the House they 
would be arrested in the end. For the sake of their 
cause neither she nor they could ever consent volun- 
tarily to retrace their steps. They must refuse to 
go and when, as they would be, they were forced 
rudely back, they must return again and again until 
they could do so no longer because they had been 
placed under arrest. This would mean a hard and 
a long struggle, for the police would first try every 
other means to overcome them. She knew that in 



a moment the violence would begin and that the 
frail old ladies behind her would he hustled and 
jostled and thrust ignominiously aside. And so, not 
for herself, for she had borne this sort of thing be- 
fore, but to save these older women from ill-usage, 
she committed a technical assault on Inspector 
Jarvis, striking him lightly on the cheek with her 
open hand. As she did so, he said, " I know why 
you have done that." But one blow was not enough 
for the police began to seize the other women and 
the pushing and hustling began. Then she said, 
"Must I do It again?" and Inspector Jarvis an- 
swered, " Yes." At that, she struck him again on 
the other cheek and he said: " Take them in," and 
the eight women were placed under arrest and led 

Meanwhile the people outside the police lines had 
waited patiently until at last J:he news filtered 
through that the deputation had not been received. 
Then suddenly a woman was seen struggling through, 
the crowd bearing the colours. Cheers were raised 
at the sight and policemen rushed towards her. 
This was the signal for a general attempt on the 
part of the Suffragettes to reach the House of Com- 
mons and in ever recurring batches of twelve, that 
only too soon were to be torn asunder, the women 
bravely but hopelessly pressed on; whilst more than 
it had ever done before the crowd showed a disposi- 
tion to help them and to prevent their arrest. 

But Parliament went on as though nothing were 
happening and when a man in the Central Lobby- 
suddenly shouted, " The women of England are 
clamouring outside," he was at once seized by 
numbers of bystanders and police and bundled 

JUNE AND JULY, igog 387 

through the door. Then tranquillity reigned once 
more. It turned out that the interrupter was Mr. 
Lawrence Housman, the well-known writer and 

At nine o'clock a great force of mounted police 
cleared the Square, beating the people back into 
Victoria Street, into Parliament Street, across West- 
minster Bridge or along Millbank. It was a fa- 
miliar stratagem and, as on so many other similar 
occasions, Parliament Square was soon a desert. 
But now a strange thing happened, for little groups 
of women, six or seven at a time, kept issuing from 
no one knew where, and making determined rushes 
for the House. As a matter of fact the W. S. P. U. 
had hired thirty different offices in the Square for 
that night and in these offices women lay concealed 
and dashed out at preconcerted moments. 

Whilst this was happening in the Square other 
Suffragettes succeeded in carrying out a time-honoured 
means of showing political contempt by breaking the 
windows of the official residence of the first Lord of 
the Admiralty, and of the Home Office, the Privy 
Council Office and the Treasury Offices in Whitehall. 
Having gone just after dusk, when the lights are 
lit in rooms where people are, they chose windows 
on the ground floor that were still dark. Then to 
small stones, around which were wrapped petitions, 
they tied string, and, holding fast to the end of the 
string, they struck the stones against the windows, 
and, having thus made holes, dropped them through. 
So they accomplished their purpose without the risk 
of injuring anyone. One hundred and eight women 
were at last taken into custody. 

Long accounts of the affair appeared in the Press 


next morning and these were on the whole very much 
more favourable to the women than any that had 
gone before, as the following gleanings from some 
of the papers indicate : 

The record of these attempted raids has been one of re- 
markable persistency in the face of every possible discour- 
agement from the authorities. — Daily Telegraph. 

The same paper also published a humorous pen-and- 
ink drawing of a mounted policeman, four constables 
and an inspector marching off to prison the tiny figure 
of Miss Neligan with the inscription, " Seventy-nine 
years old! Liberal treatment." 

It IS the most successful effort that the militant section 
of the party have made. . . . However much one may 
deplore their methods one cannot overlook their earnestness ; 
they are out to win. — The Scotsman. 

Principle and tact alike are wanting in the Asquith ad- 
ministration, otherwise there would have been none of the 
suffragette scenes in to-day's police court, and none of the 
tumult and expense of last night. . • • No one supposes 
for a moment that such a large and influential body as the 
Suffragettes would have been denied a hearing by Mr. As- 
quith and his colleagues had it possessed voting power. — 
The Manchester Courier. 

It is not likely that any one of the thousands of men and 
women who saw the Suffragist deputation to Mr. Asquith 
to the House of Commons on Tuesday night will ever for- 
get the scene, much as he or she may wish to do so. There 
are some things which photograph themselves indelibly on 
the sensitive plate of the brain and that was one of them. 
. . . — East Anglican Daily Times. 

The Prime Minister has shockingly mismanaged the busi- 
ness from the beginning. — Yorkshire Weekly Post. 

JUNE AND JULY, 1909 389 

There is some concern among liberals at the Prime Min- 
ister's persistent refusal to receive a deputation from the 
Suffragists. They doubt if he is wise in showing so un- 
yielding an attitude to them. — Manchester Daily 

As the deputation of women had complied with 
the very letter of the law, the W. S. P. U. determined 
to prove, if possible, that the Government had broken 
the law in refusing to allow them to present their 
petition. Mr. Henle was retained to deal with the 
legal aspect of the case and he pressed home his con- 
tention with so many forceful arguments that when 
he had finished Mr. Muskett who was conducting 
the case for the prosecution, asked to be allowed 
time to prepare an answer. 

When the case was continued on Friday, July 
9th, a sensation was created by the discovery that 
Lord Robert Cecil had been retained to defend 
the case of Mrs. Haverfield upon which all the 
others hung. Mr. Muskett now began by suggest- 
ing that the women had had no intention of 
presenting a petition and that the claim that they 
had gone to the House of Commons in the en- 
deavour to do so was an afterthought, got up for 
the purposes of the defence. He was soon obliged 
to abandon this line of attack for the speeches 
and articles of the leaders, the leaflets published by 
them and the official letters of the W. S. P. U. to 
Mr. Asquith, together with the fact that each mem- 
ber of the deputation had carried a copy of the 
petition, clearly demonstrated the absurdity of this 
contention. The whole case as to the right of peti- 
tion and of the way in which that right should be 
exercised was then discussed, first by Mr. Muskett 


and then by Lord Robert Cecil. Afterwards Mrs. 
Pankhurst quietly told her own story of the hap- 
penings on June 29th. In conclusion she said to 
Sir Albert de Rutzen, *' I want to say to you here, 
standing in this dock, that if you deal with us as 
you have dealt with other women on similar 
occasions, the same experience will be gone through ; 
we shall refuse to agree to be bound over because 
we cannot in honour consent to such a course and we , 

shall go to prison to suffer whatever awaits us there, 
but in future, we shall refuse to conform any longer 
to the regulations of the prison. There are 108 of 
us here to-day and just as we have thought It our 
duty to defy the police in the streets, so, when we get 
into prison, as we are political prisoners, we shall do 
our very best to bring back into the twentieth century 
the treatment of political prisoners which was 
thought right in the case of William Cobbett and 
other political offenders of his time." 

Then looking rather pained and blinking his eyes 
very nervously, the amiable-looking elderly magis- 
trate proceeded to give his decision. He said that 
whilst he agreed with Lord Robert Cecil and Mr. 
Henle that the right of petition clearly belonged to 
every subject, he yet thought that when the police 
had refused permission to enter the House, and when 
the Prime Minister had said that he would not receive 
the deputation, the women had acted wrongly in re- 
fusing to go away. He should therefore fine them 
£5 and if they refused to pay, should send them to 
prison for one month in the second division. This 
punishment should not take Immediate effect because 
he understood that he was desired to ** state a case " 
upon the legal point as to the right of petition, and 



I I 

JUNE AND JULY, jgog 391 

as he was quite prepared to do this, the matter 
would be taken to a higher court for further con- 

Mrs. Pankhurst then claimed that the charges 
against every one of her fellow prisoners should be 
held over until her own case had been finally decided 
as they all turned on the same point. This was 
agreed to except in regard to the fourteen women 
charged with stone-throwing and attempted rescue, 
who on Monday, July 12th, were tried and sent to 
prison for periods varying from one month to six 

And now the evening paper placards were an- 
nouncing a strange thing that had been taking 
place in HoUoway gaol. Miss Wallace Dunlop, 
who had gone alone to prison, had set herself to 
wrest from the government the political treatment 
which her comrades demanded, and had seized upon 
a terrible but most powerful means of attaining her 
object. On arriving in prison on Friday evening, 
July 2nd, she had at once claimed to be treated as a 
political offender, and, when this had been denied, 
she warned the Governor that she should refuse to 
eat anything until she had gained her point. On 
Monday morning she put her breakfast aside un- 
tasted, and addressed a petition to Mr. Gladstone 
explaining that she had adopted this course as a 
matter of principle and for the sake of those who 
might come after. Miss Wallace Dunlop has not 
the vigour and reserve force that belong to youth 
and she is of fragile constitution, but she never wa- 
vered and went cheerfully on with her terrible task. 
Every effort was made to break down her resolution. 
The ordinary prison diet was no longer placed before 


her, but such dainty food as at other times is not 
seen in HoUoway, and this was left in her cell both 
day and night in the hope that she would be tempted 
to eat, but though her table was always covered, 
she touched nothing. Tuesday was the day on 
which she felt most hungry, and then, as she says, 
** I threw a fried fish, four slices of bread, three 
bananas and a cup of hot milk out of the window " 
Threats and coaxing alike failed to move her. The 
doctor, watching her growing weakness with con- 
cern, came to feel her pulse many times during the 
day, but her calm steadfast spirit and gentle gaiety 
never deserted her. She had always a smile for him. 
" What are you going to have for dinner to-day? " 
he would ask, and she would reply, " My determi- 
nation." ** Indigestible stuff, but tough, no doubt," 
he would answer. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednes- 
day, Thursday passed; by Friday it was clearly 
realised that she would not change her mind but 
would carry on her hunger strike even to the 
gates of death. Hourly she was growing more 
feeble and so on Friday evening, July 9th, she was 
set free. 

The fourteen women who had been sentenced on 
the day of her release and heard the news of what 
she had done as they were being hurried to gaol de- 
cided to follow her example. On reaching HoUoway 
they at once informed the officials that they would 
refuse to deliver up any of their private property, 
to undress and to put on the prison clothing, to obey 
the rule of silence, to perform prison tasks and to 
eat the prison food and that in every way that was 
open to them they would protest against the regula- 
tions. The Governor agreed for the time being to 

JUNE AND JULY, 1909 393 

allow them- to retain their own clothing, but told 
them that when the visiting magistrates next came 
round they would be charged before them with mu- 
tiny. The women then addressed petitions to the 
Home Secretary, demanding that, in accordance with 
international custom, they should receive the treat- 
ment due to political prisoners, and decided to wait a 
day or two for a reply before beginning the hunger 

The Suffragettes had always condemned the inade- 
quate ventilation of the cells which they felt to be ex- 
ceedingly injurious to the health of every prisoner. 
On those burning summer days the stifling heat be- 
came almost unbearable and after several times ap- 
pealing that more fresh air should be allowed to 
them, the women at last determined to break some 
of the panes. 

On Wednesday morning Christabel and Mrs. 
Tuke, anxious for news of their comrades, went 
up to HoUoway and obtained admittance to a house 
opposite the gaol. There from a back window, 
they called to the prisoners, who eagerly stretched 
out their arms to them through the broken panes, 
and in a few shouted words told them of what had 
taken place. The same afternoon, a committee of 
visiting magistrates arrived in the prison and sen- 
tenced the Suffragettes to from seven to ten days' 
close solitary confinement. The women were then 
all dragged away to the punishment cells. Miss 
Florence Spong, one of the prisoners, describes her 
experience thus: 

Entering a dim corridor on' either side of which were 
cells, I was conducted to the last one and the double iron 


doors were clanged and locked behind me ; the cell damp, icy 
cold and dark struck terror in me, but the principle for which 
I was fighting helped me to overcome my fears. In the dim 
light I discovered a plank bed fixed in one corner of the 
cell about four inches from the ground, with a wooden pil- 
low at the head. Opposite was a tree stump, clamped to 
the wall for a seat, and in another corner was a small shelf 
with a filthy rubber tumbler full of water. High above the 
bed was a small window and through the tiny panes of 
opaque glass a faint light filtered. Realising how quickly 
the light was waning I hurriedly examined my cell. I dis- 
covered two pools of water near the head of the bed which 
never dried up. There was a small square of glass high 
above the door and through this the light of a tiny gas jet 
flickered from the corridor outside. This was lit at five 
o*clock and just enabled me to see the objects in my cell. 
At eight o'clock three wardresses brought me a mattress and 
some rugs, and again the doors clanged to and I was alone. 
I will not speak of that night ; I leave it for your imagina- 
tion. At six the next morning I was told to get up, my 
mattress and bed clothes were taken from my cell and a tiny 
bowl of water was brought me to wash in, and that was 
the only wash I was allowed every twenty-four hours. 

" It is wrong that there should be such places 
to-day," Miss Florence Cooke told the Governor, 
" they would drive any ordinary prisoner mad," and 
she tells us: 

I saw all means of protest had been taken from me ex- 
cept one, and that was to do what Miss Wallace Dunlop 
had done, to refuse to take any food. The hardest time 
was the first twenty-four hours. Milk was brought to me 
which I felt I could have taken very willingly, but I put it 
from me. Then the wardress brought me in some food. I 
said to her, " Will you please take that out? " She refused. 

JUNE AND JULY, 1909 395 

I therefore took the tin in which the food was and rolled it 
out of the cell and what was in it went upon the ground. 

This is important, because Mr. Gladstone after- 
wards charged the Suffragettes with having thrown 
food at the wardresses. 

Miss Cooke goes on: 

I was particularly careful in what I did to be polite and I 
believe all the other Suffragettes were the same. On Friday 
I took to my bed and the doctor told me that if I persisted I 
should get a fever, but I was absolutely determined to do my 
part, at whatever sacrifice, and I told the Governor that so 
long as I was responsible for my action I should refuse to take 

On Sunday night I was removed to the hospital and there 
a fresh effort was made to get me to take food. Medicine 
was brought to me, which I absolutely refused, knowing that 
it was either food in disguise or else intended to aggravate 
my hunger. On Monday afternoon my head felt exceed- 
ingly bad and I hardly knew what I was doing, but I de- 
termined that I would not give in. In the evening the 
Governor came to me and said, " Be very calm." I said to 
him, ** There is a supreme power which gives us strength to 
bear whatever comes to us." He said, " I have orders to 
release you," and I said to him, " Does Mr. Gladstone pre- 
fer this to doing us justice ? " 

The other prisoners all told similar stories, each 
of which unconsciously displayed the most wonder- 
ful heroism. One day Miss Mary Allen fell faint- 
ing on the stone floor of her punishment cell and 
when, weak and numb with cold, she regained con- 
sciousness, she sang the Women's Marseillaise to 
cheer herself, and to her delight the occupant of the 
next cell joined in. So, bravely struggling, each 


of the women won her way out to freedom, having 
fasted bravely, some for six and a half, others for 
six, five and a half, or five days. 

Think of the courage of it! To be confined 
there in semi-darkness when a word would procure 
release. To withstand the terrible pangs of hunger 
with food always before one's eyes, distracted by the 
fever of that unhealthy and fcEtid place. To feel 
oneself growing gradually weaker and weaker, and 
to know that but a little more, perhaps suddenly, 
any moment without warning, and the heart will 
stop. And yet never, never to falter, always to 
cling on to the word of their faith and the great 
impersonal ideal. Think of the wonderful courage 
of it I And after their release it was only with 
utmost care and cherishing that these dear women 
were won back to life and in their feeble weariness 
they felt, even when lying on the softest bed, as 
though they were stretched upon iron bars. 

There were some generous souls, the Reverend 
Hugh Chapman of the Royal Chapel of the Savoy 
and others, who raised their voices in protest, and 
in appeal to the authorities to withdraw their obsti- 
nate opposition to the cause for which the women 
fought, or at least to extend to them the recognised 
usages of political warfare. It was shown that 
even according to the strict letter of the law, the 
women, their stone-throwing notwithstanding, had 
an unassailable claim to political treatment. In the 
case of In-re-Castioni, reported in Pitt Cobbett's 
'* Leading Cases on International Law,'* a Swiss 
subject named Castioni had been arrested in England 
at the requisition of the Swiss Government, on a 
charge of murder. Under the provisions of the Ex- 


JUNE AND JULY, 1909 397 

tradition Act of 1870, the prisoner could not be ex- 
tradited if the offence was of a political character, 
and the judges unanimously held that even such of- 
fences as murder and assassination must be consid- 
ered political, if committed in the belief that they 
would promote the political end in view, and as part 
of, and incidental to, a genuine political agitation, 
rising, or disturbance. 

But the legal and moral justice of their claim, 
and the heroic courage of the women, were alike dis- 
regarded by the Government, and when, on July 21st, 
private Members of Parliament pressed Mr. Glad- 
stone to relent, and to do justice to the women po- 
litical prisoners, he retaliated by asserting that they 
had both kicked and bitten the wardresses. The 
charge was indignantly repudiated by every pris- 
oner and after careful enquiry the W. S. P. U. is- 
sued a statement denying the accusations. Three 
days later it was announced by the press that Mr. 
Gladstone had held an enquiry at the prison, as a 
result of which he had decided that the allegations 
of assault against the Suffragette prisoners had been 
clearly proved. The W. S. P. U. then wrote urging 
that the case ought not to be judged on one-sided 
evidence and claiming that the Home Secretary 
should allow the fourteen Suffragettes, against whom 
the charges had been made to put their side of the 
matter before him. Mr. Gladstone merely replied 
that he had already directed proceedings to be taken 
against Miss Theresa Garnett and Mrs. Dove-Wil- 
cox, two of the Suffragettes concerned, and that these 
proceedings would afford full opportunity for them 
to swear to their version of the facts before the 


On August 4th these trumped-up charges were 
heard at the North London Police Court. During 
the whole course of the agitation the Suffragettes 
had never sought either to conceal or to deny what 
they had done, or to escape punishment for their 
actions, and the police had always readily admitted 
that they could unhesitatingly accept the word of a 
Suffragette. It is unnecessary, therefore, to give at 
any length the evidence put forward at the trial of 
these two women. Their own statements, calmly 
and carefully given, even the magistrate, although 
he punished them, certainly believed. 

Miss Theresa Garnett was accused of biting one 
wardress and striking another. In defending herself 
against these charge;3 she said : 

On Wednesday, July 14th, wardresses entered my cell 
and ordered me to come down to see the visiting magis- 
trates. I stopped to pick up my bag^ to bring with me. 
Immediately the wardresses intervened between me and my 
bag to prevent me taking it and a scuffle ensued, in the 
course of which I found myself on my back, and two or 
three other wardresses came into my cell. In this struggle 
I did not strike or bite or assault any of the wardresses 
in any way, but used such force as I was able to put forth 
in order to regain possession of my property. One of the 
wardresses tore my dress and it is quite likely that as I took 
hold of her her dress became torn. I was then conducted 
to the head of the stairs, and seeing that further attempts 
to retain my property would be of no avail, I walked quietly 
down into the magistrates' room. When I was there the 

1 In this bag Miss Garnett had a change of clothing and 
other necessaries and she realised thai if this were taken from 
her, her determination not to wear the prison garments would 
be frustrated. 

JUNE AND JULY, 1909 399 

charges of breach of prison discipline were made against 
me and the matron further charged me with having torn 
the dress of one of the wardresses whilst I was being brought 
into the room, but no charge of biting the finger of the 
wardress was made against me. I was then asked whether 
I had any apology to make. ... I was sentenced to 
eight days* solitary confinement and I made no resistance 
as I was marched away to a punishment cell. Since I 
learned that this charge was to be brought against me I have 
been wondering how it could have arisen. I do not be- 
lieve that the wardresses would purposely fabricate a charge 
against me. I am led therefore to suppose that this charge 
rests upon a mistake. You will have noticed, Sir, that no 
charge of biting the wardress's finger was preferred against 
me in the presence of the visiting magistrates, whilst a charge 
of tearing the wardress's dress, which occurred at the same 
time that my other act is alleged to have happened, was re- 
ported to them then and there. I can only suppose there- 
fore that this charge was an afterthought and that, finding 
a wound on her finger, the wardress concluded that it had 
been produced by a bite. Now, Sir, I have dressed my- 
self to-day exactly in the way in which I was dressed that 
day in Holloway and you will notice that I am wearing 
this portcullis brooch on my left side. 

At this Miss Garnett unbuttoned and took off the 
coat she was wearing and the magistrate rudely 
said: " I suppose you could bite as well in one dress 
as in another." 

" I have already told you that my dress was torn," she 
went on. " You will see that it is torn close to the brooch. 
I think it is exceedingly probable that the wardress who 
tore my dress received a wound in her finger from the brooch 
I was wearing and this wound would exactly resemble the 
wound caused by a bite." 


Miss Garnett now unpinned the portcullis brooch 
which since April of that year had been presented 
as a badge of honour to every member of the W. S. 
P. U. who had suffered imprisonment for the cause, 
and which, like a genuine portcullis, had five sharp 
little tooth-like projections at its base. 

" Here is the brooch," she said, handing it to the 
the magistrate, " you can look at it for yourself. 
I have only this to add that if, in spite of the true 
facts which I have narrated to you, you send me to 
prison on account of the charges which have been 
made against me, I shall go there prepared to carry 
out afresh my protest against the treatment in 

Mr. Fordham said that evidently there had been 
a great struggle and that at such times it was difficult 
to say exactly what had taken place. He believed 
that the wound had been caused accidentally, though 
he thought it was more likely that the wardress's 
hand had been struck against Miss Garnett's teeth 
than that the wound had been caused by the brooch. 
He therefore dismissed the case, but though Miss 
Garnett had been acquitted of this charge Mr. Glad- 
stone never retracted the statements which he had 
made in Parliament as to the Suffragette prisoners 
having bitten the wardresses. 

As soon as this first case against Miss Garnett 
had been disposed of, a second charge of striking 
one of the wardresses was preferred against her. 
She then said : 

On the day following that on which the visiting magis- 
trates came to Holloway, the wardress entered my cell and 
ordered me to get up off the bed. I did not do so and she 
seized hold of the bedding and rolled me on to the floor, 

JUNE AND JULY, 1909 401 

injuring my knee. I then said to her, " Is this what you 
do?" and she said, " It is." I said to her, " In a civilised 
country?" and she said, "You are a set of uncivilised 
women." I then asked her to leave the cell and she re- 
fused to do so, whereon I pushed her without using any 
unnecessary violence out of the cell. Later in the day she 
was exceedingly insolent to me in her behaviour and she 
further reported mt to the Governor and I was moved into 
a more severe p<inishment cell. I informed the Governor of 
the manner in which she had treated me aiid from that time 
onwards her behaviour was marked by ordinary courtesy. 

Mr. Fordham then sentenced Miss Garnett to 
a month's imprisonment in the third division. 

After this two charges were also brought against 
Mrs. Dove-Wilcox of Bristol, who was accused 
of having kicked several of the wardresses, both 
whilst she was being taken from the cell to the visit- 
ing magistrates' room and on the way to the punish- 
ment cell afterwards. To the first charge she re- 
turned an absolute denial, saying that when sum- 
moned to appear before the magistrates she had 
gone quietly and willingly, and that when she had 
been charged before them, no attempt had been made 
to suggest that she had assaulted any of the ward- 
resses. She was sentenced to eight days' close con- 
finement in a punishment cell, but, as she explained: 

I refused to accept this treatment and said that if they 
insisted I should have to be dragged away by force. Sev- 
eral wardresses accordingly seized me to take me away. I 
offered such resistance as I was able to, but was over- 
powered. Outside the room some of the wardresses com- 
menced to pummel me very severely, inflicting serious bruises 
upon me and at last I deliberately kicked two of them. I 
had on a pair of thin house-shoes at the time, because, as you 


know, we had insisted upon our right to retain our own 
clothing, so that I could not have hurt either of them very 
much. They then picked me up and carried me to the cell 
and on the way treated me very cruelly, twisting my arms, 
almost throttling me and tearing at my hair with great vio- 
lence. I remonstrated with them, saying, " You have no 
right to treat me in this way and I shall complain to the 
Governor of this cruelty." They carried me into the cell 
and threw me roughly onto the wooden bed, taking away 
my shoes, which they did not return for some time. At first 
I determined to complain to the Governor and to show him 
the bruises on my arms, but on consideration I remembered 
that my quarrel was with the Government and not with 
the wardresses. I did not wish them to get into trouble. 
Moreover, I regarded the incident as closed, as I heard noth- 
ing of any complaint as to my action. I consider I was 
perfectly justified in what I did and that anyone with arms 
pinioned, assaulted as I was, would have taken similar ac- 

The magistrate refused to accept Mrs. Dove- Wil- 
cox's denial of the charge of kicking the wardresses 
on her way to the visiting magistrates' room, but 
said that it was " not of a very serious kind," and 
that he would sentence her to pay a fine of 40 shil- 
lings or to go to prison for ten days. He also found 
her guilty of the second charge of kicking the ward- 
resses on being removed from the visiting magis- 
trates' room, and sentenced her to pay a further 40 
shillings or to go to prison for ten days. If she suf- 
fered imprisonment, the two terms were to run con- 
currently, that is to say, she would serve, ten days 
in all. As she had already stated that she would 
not pay any fine, this was tantamount to punishing 
her for one of the charges only. 

The two women were still weak from their first 

JUNE AND JULY, igog 403 

hunger strike, but they determined to again make 
the same stand. On their arrival at Holloway, the 
officials forcibly stripped their clothes from their 
backs, flung the prison garments upon them, and 
forced them into the punishment cells, where, in 
spite of the continual faintness from which they suf- 
fered, they steadfastly refused all food until Sat- 
urday, August 7th, the third day of their imprison- 
ment, when the order of release was brought. 


Mr. Lloyd George at Lime House; Twelve Women 
Sent to Prison; Another Strike. Hunger Strik- 
ers IN Exeter Gaol. The Scenes at Canford Park 


Liverpool; Liverpool Hunger Strikers. Man- 
chester Hunger Strikers; Leicester Hunger 
Strikers; Dundee Hunger Strikers. The Cleve- 
land By-election. 

The vindictive attitude of the Government and 
the sufferings and heroism of the women in prison, 
spurred on their comrades outside to deeds of re- 
newed bravery and daring. Everywhere vast 
throngs of people supported the Suffragettes in their 
protests and no precautions, however great, or bar- 
ricades, however high and strong, could keep the 
women's voices out. " Shame on you, Mr. As- 
quith," they cried, as he was unveiling a statue in 
the Embankment Gardens. " Shame on you for put- 
ting women in dark cells instead of treating them as 
political prisoners. Why don't you give us the 
vote and end it?" "Ladies and gentlemen," 
thoughtlessly began Mr. Gladstone at a Read- 
ing meeting from which all women had been ex- 
cluded, and when there were shouts of, " Where are 
they?" he answered, "Not far off, anyway." He 
was right, for soon their speeches, delivered at a 



meeting in the street outside, were to be heard 
within, competing dangerously with his own. 

When, on July 15th, Mr. Lewis Harcourt was 
speaking at the Co-operative Hall, Leigh, Lanca- 
shire, the Suffragettes rushed towards the doors. 
Thousands of people cheered them on, crying : " We 
will help you to get inside," and though the police 
arrested Miss Florence Clarkson of Manchester, 
Mrs. Baines and three other women, all but the first 
were rescued by the crowd. 

On July 1 7th, Adela Pankhurst held a great meet- 
ing outside Mr. Winston Churchill's meeting in Edin- 
burgh and afterwards, amid the enthusiastic plaudits 
of the crowd, she and Bessie Brand ^ made a dash 
for the doors, followed and supported by hundreds 
of men and women. They were arrested by de- 
tectives in plain clothes and taken to the police sta- 
tion, whilst cheering men raised their hats and 
women waved their scarves and handkerchiefs. A 
second charge led by Miss Eckford of Edinburgh 
was beaten back by mounted police, and when Mr. 
Churchill emerged he was greeted with a storm of 
groans. Those who had been arrested were released 
after the meeting. 

Numbers of men, most of them members of the 
Men's Political Union, were now also coming for- 
ward to demand justice for women at the meetings 
from which the women were excluded. If they had 
gone there to heckle Cabinet Ministers on any other 
question nothing very much would have happened, 

1 Daughter of the late Sir David Brand, Sheriff of Edinburgh 
and Chairman of the Crofters Commission who had been 
knighted for his services to the Liberal party. 


but now most terrible violence was turned upon 

At Mr. Herbert Samuel's meeting in the Corn 
Exchange, Bedford, on the 22nd July, four men un- 
dertook to make the protest. At the first sound of 
the word " Women " two whole rows of seats were 
overturned, and the interrupter was immediately 
rushed out, whilst Mr. Samuel remarked with a sneer 
that he was interested to meet " a Suffragist of the 
male persuasion," but that he suspected the inter- 
rupter of being a " Conservative hireling." A sec- 
ond man rose up and cried : " I am a Liberal and / 
protest," but the stewards at once set upon him and 
he was thrown through a door at the back of the plat- 
form and fell some six or seven feet to the ground 
floor, where he lay insensible for nearly half an hour ; 
two other men, one of them a retired naval officer, 
met with a similar fate. At the same time four 
of the women who were holding a meeting outside 
the hall, were arrested and kept at the police station 
until Mr. Samuel had left the town. 

When the same Cabinet Minister spoke at Not- 
tingham the police again arrested, and subsequently 
released, four women, one of whom was Miss Watts, 
the daughter of a well-known local clergyman. 
A like procedure was adopted in numberless cases 
afterwards. Inside the hall, an unexpected protest 
was made by Mr. C. L. Rothera, the City Coroner 
for Nottingham and a prominent Liberal, but in 
spite of the fact that he was one of the most familiar 
and respected figures in the town, he narrowly es- 
caped ejection. 

At Northampton, Mr. Samuel again encountered 
the women, for a plucky little band, led by Miss 


Marie Brackenbury, attempted to rush the strong 
iron gates of the hall. They were flung back by the 
police, but, nothing daunted, Miss Brackenbury 
climbed to the top of a forty-foot scaffolding adjoin- 
ing the Exchange, and, though the rain poured con- 
tinuously, addressed the crowd from that great 

But the most extraordinary scenes were perhaps 
those that took place when Mr. Lloyd George and 
Mr. Sydney Buxton spoke at Limehouse on July 
30th. Some twenty men were there determined to 
see that the women's cause should not be overlooked, 
and as soon as the singing of, " For he's a jolly good 
fellow," which heralded Mr. Lloyd George's ap- 
pearance on the platform had died away, a man was 
seen climbing up one of the pillars at the back of 
the hall. Having mounted some fifteen feet from 
the ground, he uncoiled a rope from around his waist, 
contriving a sort of swing seat for himself, and, un- 
furling a purple-white-and-green flag, hung there 
above the meeting. Numbers of stewards at once 
rushed from every direction to haul him down, but 
more than a dozen of his friends had already 
gathered around the pillar. Instead of beginning 
their speeches, the Cabinet Ministers sat whispering 
together. Then one of them went across to Mrs. 
Lloyd George and a companion, and immediately 
these two, the only women present, left the meeting 
and the struggle began. Gradually the defenders 
of the pillar were wrenched from their posts. An 
eye-witness declared that he saw " one man frog- 
marched out by half a dozen stewards between two 
rows of infuriated blackguards, who were raining 
blows with their fists on his defenceless face." A 


gentleman, quite unconnected with the Suffragists 
men, who had taken no part in the struggle, pro- 
tested against this excessive and cowardly violence, 
but was at once set upon and himself flung outside. 
One man, home from the Colonies, had his shoulder 
fractured, another had one wrist broken and the 
other sprained; another received black eyes and a 
broken nose; whilst a Cambridge undergraduate had 
his collarbone broken and a dozen other men needed 
medical attendance, one fainting through loss of 
blood some time after he had been ejected. At last 
the stewards reached the pillar, the rope was cut and 
the man aloft with the flag was hauled down and set 
upon by the mob of stewards, who tumbled over each 
other in the attempt to kick and strike at him; one 
man deliberately hit him over the face with a glass 
bottle. When finally he was thrown outside, the 
police carried him to a doctor. 

Now the Cabinet Ministers proceeded with their 
speeches, but when Mr. Lloyd George began to speak 
of the ** people's will," there came a megaphone 
chorus from a little workman's dwelling close to the 
hall where the Suffragettes were lying concealed, 
" Votes for Women," " Votes for Women," ** Votes 
for Women." The stewards rushed to the windows 
on that side of the hall and shut them hurriedly, 
but the sound penetrated still for the people of the 
neighbourhood joined in and supported the mega- 
phones with cheers and cries of " Stick to it, miss, 
stick to it." Even this was not all, for a desperate 
charge was being led against the police cordon that 
guarded the doors of the Hall and in this struggle 
thirteen women were placed under arrest. 

These women were summoned to appear before 


Mr. Dickinson at the Thames Police Court on the 
following morning, when they were charged with 
obstruction and as a result, twelve of them were 
taken on to HoUoway for terms varying from ten 
days to two months. They were all determined to 
protest as those who had gone before them had done, 
against the prison treatment, and when ordered to 
undress and to proceed to the cells, they refused and 
linking arms stood with their backs to the wall. 
The Governor then blew his whistle and a great 
crowd of wardresses appeared. They fell upon the 
women and after a long struggle dragged them 
apart, forced them into the cells, and ordered them 
to change into prison clothes. Worn out as they 
now were w;ith vain resistance, they still bravely re- 
fused to give in and their clothes were literally torn 
from their backs. 

Who would not shrink from such an ordeal! 
Who would not rather huddle quietly into the prison 
clothes, however ill-fitting, coarse and objectionable 
they might be than be subjected to such a thing as 
this, well knowing that whatever happened one must 
be overpowered in the end? And these women did 
shrink from the ordeal, but bore it for all their shrink- 
ing. *^ A long file of wardresses fairly ripped my 
clothes off, leaving me only half covered," says Lucy 
Burns; ** I counted twelve wardresses in my cell. 
They tried to taunt and goad me," says Mable Cap- 
per, " but I bit my lips." 

When the prison clothes had been forced onto 
them or they had been left half covered with the 
garments lying beside them, to put them on as best 
they might, even then they went on bravely with 
their protest. The ventilation of the cells was in- 


adequate — it was their duty to break the panes, and, 
though they well knew that as a consequence they 
would be taken where the want of air was even 
greater and where they could not break the glass, 
not one of the twelve shrank back. The windows 
were scarcely broken when vengeance followed. 
They were dragged away to the punishment cells and 
in these unwholesome dungeons they carried out the 
Hunger Strike, some of them under conditions even 
worse than those borne by their previously impris- 
oned comrades. 

In some of the punishment cells, including 
that of Mrs. Leigh, a sanitary convenience, in ap- 
pearance exactly lil^e an ordinary closet without 
a lid, was fixed against the wall. There was no 
water supply for keeping this clear, the inner vessel 
being withdrawn through the wall from the corridor 
outside, when it required emptying. When it is 
realised that the prisoner remained in the cell both 
night and day without a moment's intermission, and 
that the ventilation was in any case absolutely in- 
adequate, the objectionable character of this ar- 
rangement will be clearly understood. When the 
matter was made public and commented upon after- 
wards, Mr. Gladstone stated that this closet was 
only put there in case of emergency and that in every 
case the prisoner would be readily allowed to go to 
the W. C. in the corridor on ringing her bell. Un- 
fortunately none of the Suffragettes who had been 
placed in the cells in which these closets were, had 
tested the matter, but those who are familiar with 
the Holloway regime, will, for various reasons, doubt 
the truth of this statement, though Mr. Gladstone 
probably believed it. When a prisoner is told that 


she will not be allowed to leave her cell at all for 
several days and instead of being sent each morning 
to fetch her own washing water, as is usual, she has 
it brought to her by a wardress; when at the same 
time she finds a sanitary convenience in her cell and 
the usual cry of ** lavatory," is omitted, she naturally 
concludes that the receptacle is there for her use, and 
that she will not be permitted to use any other. 
Anyone who has asked questions in HoUoway, where 
questions are discouraged, knows that, especially if 
the prisoner were under punishment, questions upon 
this point would probably not receive either polite 
or pleasant replies. 

For two nights Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Leigh 
were denied even a mattress and were obliged to 
sleep on the hard wooden plank. The long sleep- 
less nights were for all the prisoners the hardest 
part of the trial and as they grew weaker, their 
minds, as happens to people during illness, were 
often filled with strange fancies which could only 
with difficulty be subdued. They feared that they 
might walk in their sleep and eat the food which was 
always left in their cells during the night. Threats 
to feed them forcibly were constantly being made and 
the horror of being suddenly overpowered was always 
upon them. Lucy Burns tells how once in the night 
she heard a sudden scream. ** That cannot be one 
of our women," she thought, ^ it is too incoherent," 
but holding her breath she listened with quickly beat- 
ing heart. The cry came again and again and at 
last she heard quite plainly, " No, no, take it away." 
Then she leapt from her bed and stood at the door 
hour after hour waiting for what might come, until 
at last, worn out and stiff with cold she wrapped her- 


self in her blanket and fell asleep with her head 
against the door. Saturday evening, Sunday, Mon- 
day, Tuesday passed. 

On Wednesday the visiting magistrates came 
round. The prisoners whom they had come to 
punish were now all weak and haggard and some 
were unable to rise from their beds. Nevertheless 
further sentences of close confinement in the punish- 
ment cells, which they had never yet left, were passed 
upon thpm all. But the authorities dared not at- 
tempt to carry out these sentences. The chances of 
life and death had become too evenly balanced now, 
and Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Leigh were set free that 
evening and the remainder of the women on Thurs- 
day and Friday, August 5th and 6th. 

Meanwhile three young Suffragettes, Vera Went- 
worth, Mary Phillips and Rose Howey had gone 
through the hunger strike in Exeter having been ar- 
rested in that town on Friday, July 30th, whilst 
leading a crowd of 2,000 people to the doors of Lord 
Carrington's Budget meeting in the Victoria Hall 
there. . Their arrest had excited great popular in- 
dignation and with shouts of " Let them go, you 
cowards," the people had rushed to their rescue but 
the soldiery had been called out to beat them back. 

Suffering born for a cause begets sympathy with 
that cause and coercion arouses sympathy with the 
coerced. Nevertheless tyranny and cruelty beget 
their like, a crowd, however hostile, will hesitate to 
throw the first stone but when that has been flung, 
many missiles will often follow. Thus, when it was 
shown that rather than do them justice the Govern- 
ment was prepared to thrust women into unwhole- 
some dungeons and to leave them to starve there for 


many days, a more brutal and vindictive temper be- 
gan to manifest itself amongst the more disorderly 
sections of its supporters than had ever before been 

On August 2nd, a great Liberal fete was held at 
Canford Park, near Poole in Dorsetshire. There 
were sports and games and Mr. Churchill was to de- 
liver an address on the Budget. Annie Kenney with 
three companions attended the fete and the story of 
what took place is best told in her own words. She 



As we entered the Park together we saw two very young 
girls being dragged about by a crowd of Liberal men, 
some of whom were old enough to be their fathers. They 
had thrown a pig net over them, and had pulled down their 
hair. We heard afterwards that these girls came from a 
village near by, but the Liberals suspected them to be Suf- 
fragettes and ordered them out of the Park. Before 
Miss Brackenbury and I had been in the place many min- 
utes, though we had never opened our lips, we were fol- 
lowed by a howling mob of Liberal men. We thought we 
could get away from them if we went and watched the 
sports instead of going direct to Mr. Churchiirs meeting, 
but they crowded round us and the language they used is 
not fit for print. After a time a police officer came up and 
told us that we must clear out of the place, as we were caus- 
ing all the trouble, though we had never replied back to any- 
thing that had been said. As soon as the crowd saw the po- 
lice were against us the trouble began. There seemed to 
be thousands of them surging round us and they divided 
Miss Brackenbury and myself, but she tried to keep me in 
view as much as she could. They did not seem to want 
to do anything to her, because she looked strong and big, 
but they all came and attacked me. They were calling out 
to each other to get hold of me and throw me into the 


pond which was very near. I shall never forget at this 
point seeing a carriage in which were two old ladles come 
driving up. The carriage was almost turned over and the 
two women were white with fright and breathing very 
quickly, but though I appealed to the men on behalf of the 
two ladies they took no notice. Luckily the crowd just 
swerved round the corner and I consider the lives of the 
two women were saved not through good management or 
through any feeling on the part of the Liberals, but it was 
just a piece of luck. After that they seemed to become 
more enraged. I then turned and faced the crowd, and, 
strange to say, when I could turn round and face them 
they never attempted to do anything to me, but as soon as 
my back was turned they started dragging me about in a 
most shameful way. One man who was wearing the Liberal 
colours pulled a- knife out of his pocket, and to the delight 
of the other staunch Liberals, started cutting my coat. 
They cut it into shreds right from the neck downwards. 
Then they lifted up my coat and started to cut my frock 
and one of them lifted up my frock and cut my petticoat. 
This caused great excitement. A cry came from those Lib- 
erals, who are supposed to have high ideas in public life, 
to undress me. They took off my hat and pulled down my 
hair, but I turned round upon them and said that it would 
be their shame and not mine. They stopped then for a 
minute, and then two men, also wearing the Liberal colours, 
got hold of me and lifted me up and afterwards dragged 
me along, not giving me an opportunity to walk out in a 
decent way. 

So they dragged her out, the little fragile woman 
with her torn garments and her masses of golden hair 
falling below her waist, her sensitive face flushed 
and her blue eyes, wide with pain and horror. They 
dragged her close past the house of the great Wim- 
bourne family who owned Canford Park, but 


though the guests and members of the family who 
were watching from the balcony and from the lawn 
in front, were appealed to by others, they made no 
attempt to intervene and saw the great gates opened 
and the little ragged, exhausted figure with her 
streaming hair, thrust outside, well knowing that the 
nearest railway station was more than three miles 

Truly it needed some courage to face things like 
this for the sake of any cause, and this was not an 
isolated happening. 

On August 8th, Miss Helen Tolson had a similar 
experience at Rushpool Hall, Saltburn by the Sea. 
This is her own description : 

The day was beautiful and the private grounds in which 
Mr. Churchill and Mr. Samuel were to speak were thronged 
with a great crowd of their supporters, a large number of 
whom were miners. About ten of us had obtained ad- 
mission in one way or another and had stationed ourselves 
at different points. As each woman spoke there was a 
great roar from the crowd, who nearly all left the speaker 
to follow and ill-treat her as she was being taken out. 
When my own turn came I started to ask a question, but 
was stopped by the hand of a Liberal steward, which was 
thrust into my mouth. The next thing I remember is two 
stewards holding my arms and a third coming up and de- 
liberately kicking me in the body. This was a sign to the 
crowd to do what they liked with me and they thrust me 
forward with cries of " Throw her in the pond.** They 
dragged me to a steep bank above the pond and here three 
men, seeing that my hold upon a small tree was giving way, 
tried to help me. Nothing of what happened during the 
next ten minutes is at all clear in my memory. I was 
often full length on the ground and I know I was bruised 
from head to foot. The crowd abated their efforts to tram- 


pie me underfoot when the word was passed that the police 
were at last coming. When I was pulled up the bank again 
I found that my skirt and underclothing had been nearly 
torn off. 

A Miss De Legh, daughter of Dr. Dc Legh of 
Coatham, a guest at Rushpool Hall, quite uncon- 
nected with the Suffragettes, was set upon by one 
man who pushed her into some bushes and blew 
tobacco smoke into her face. She afterwards 
brought an action for assault against her assailant 
and he was fined £3. His defence was that she had 
cried " cowards " to those who were ejecting the 
Suffragettes and had thus angered the crowd so that 
if he had not seized her she would probably have 
been swept into a pond. 

On August 20th, when Lord Crewe spoke at the 
great St. Andrew's Hall, Glasgow, Miss Alice Paul 
succeeded in climbing to the roof and in the hope 
of being able to speak to the Cabinet Minister from 
this point, she lay there concealed for many hours 
in spite of a downpour of rain. When she was dis- 
covered and forced to descend she was heartily 
cheered for her pluck by a crowd of workmen, one 
of whom came forward and apologised for having 
told a policeman of her presence, saying that he had 
thought she was in need of help. 

Later, when the women attempted to force their 
way into the building, the people needed no urging 
to lend their aid, and the police who were guarding 
the entrance were obliged to use their truncheons to 
beat them back. When the officers of the law at- 
tempted to make arrests, the women were rescued 
from their clutches again and again. Eventually 






Adela Pankhurst, Lucy Burns, Alice Paul and Mar- 
garet Smith were taken into custody, but even when 
the gates of the police station were closed upon them, 
the authorities feared that they would not be able to 
hold their prisoners for the crowds shouted 
vociferously for their release and twisted the strong 
iron gates. It was only when the women themselves 
appealed to them that they consented to refrain from 
further violence. 

When Lord Crewe had safely left the town, the 
friends of the women were allowed to bail them out, 
on the understanding that they would appear at the 
police court at nine o'clock the following morning. 
Nevertheless though they arrived before the ap- 
pointed time, there was no one to show them the 
Court room and whilst they wandered about in the 
passages, trying to find their way, their case was 
disposed of behind locked doors and with the public 
excluded. The bail was escheated and a warrant 
was issued for their arrest before five minutes past 
nine. At this Mr. Thomas Kerr, one of the bailees, 
rose to protest and asked two minutes leave to find 
the defaulting prisoners, saying that he was sure 
they were already in the building, but he was ab- 
ruptly told that the court was closed. He went 
outside and immediately met the ladies and brought 
them in before Bailie Hunter, who presided, had 
left the Bench, but though the Bailie saw them he 
hurried away, whilst the Fiscal ^ tried to put all the 
blame upon him. The bail was never refunded and 
the women never answered to the warrants and so 
the matter dropped. 

^The Scotch Fiscal is the officer who prosecutes in the case 
of petty criminal offences. 



The same Friday, August 20th, on which Lord 
Crewe had spoken at Glasgow, Mr. Haldane, the 
Secretary of State for War, was addressing a meet- 
ing at Liverpool and Mrs. Leigh, who was in com- 
mand of the Suffragette army there had organised 
her forces in such a way as to give an effective reply 
to his jeering reference to what he described as the 
** bodkin tactics." Early in the day she and a 
number of others had taken up their quarters in an 
empty house separated from the hall by a narrow 
passage only. When the meeting began she 
clambered through the window and swung herself 
on to the roof with the most extraordinary agility at 
so great a height and with so slender a foothold, that 
observers were thrilled with horror. 

A loud clear woman's voice, calling attention to 
the women's demand, through a megaphone, and 
then crash after crash; that was what the people in 
the hall knew of the scene, whilst outside great 
crowds were surging and those who looked up could 
see what the Liverpool Courier called, ** the frail 
figure of a little woman peeping out from behind a 
chimney stack," who as her comrades at the windows 
passed ammunition up to her, hurled it onto the roof 
of the hall " with a dexterity which was nothing 
short of marvellous." When everything that they 
had brought with them had been exhausted she tore 
the slates up from the roof and flung them after the 

The police rushed to the scene and pressed a pass- 
ing window cleaner into the service but his ladder 
was too short and the fire escape had to be sent for 
before Mrs. Leigh could be brought down. Then 
she and her six comrades were driven away in 


" Black Maria " to the Central Bridewell and, hav- 
ing been allowed out on bail at a late hour, were 
brought up the following "morning at the Liverpool 
police court charged with doing wilful damage to 
the Sun Hall. 

They were remanded until the following Tuesday, 
August 24th, but refused to find bail and were de- 
tained in prison where, on being expected to con- 
form to the ordinary rules, they began the hunger 
strike and were placed in the punishment cells. They 
had already fasted three and a half days when their 
trial took place. It was stated in the Court that 
no one had been hurt by their action on the night 
of the Sun Hall meeting but that damage had been 
done to the extent of £3. 19. o. Sentences of from 
one to two months' imprisonment in the second di- 
vision having been passed upon them, they were 
taken back to the punishment cells, where, owing 
to the cold and damp many of them were stricken 
with shivering fits. The order of release came for 
Miss Healiss on the following day and for the six 
others on Thursday evening. 

During the summer months, Mr. Asquith had 
been golfing at Clovelly and three of the younger 
Suffragettes, girls of between twenty and twenty-five, 
had approached him in the midst of his game and 
had told him pretty forcibly what they thought of him 
and his Government. On the first Saturday in Sep- 
tember these same girls, Jessie Kenney, Vera Went- 
worth and Elsie Howey, visited Littlestone on Sea 
where Mr. Asquith and Mr. Gladstone were playing 
golf together. They caught sight of Mr. Asquith as 
he was leaving the club house and Elsie Howey made 
a dash towards him. He tried to run back into 


the house but was caught just as he reached the top- 
most step. As soon as he felt the girl's touch on 
his arm, he cried out, " I shall have you locked up," 
but she replied, " I don't care what you do, Mr. 
Asquith," and as Jessie and Vera also appeared, he 
called for help and Mr. Herbert Gladstone came to 
his aid. The two men then tried to push the three 
girls down the steps but this was not easily accom- 
plished. As Jessie said, " There were hjows re- 
ceived from both parties and plenty of jostling. 
Mr. Gladstone fought like a prize-fighter and struck 
out left and right I must say he is a 'better fighter 
than he is a politician. The Suffragettes have often 
been called hooligans, but the two Cabinet Ministers 
certainly showed that they too could be hooligans 
when no one was looking." 

At last two other men came to reinforce the 
Cabinet Ministers and the girls were all three 
knocked down in a heap. The two Ministers then 
made good their escape and Mr, Gladstone 
motored to Hythe police station and arranged with 
the superintendent of the County Police for a body 
of constables to be sent to guard Lympne Castle, 
where he was staying. Of course the Suffragettes 
were severely condemned for having " annoyed " the 
Cabinet Ministers on their holiday, and the escapade 
of these three girls was described as an " outrage," 
but nevertheless many jokes were made on the sub- 
ject, at Mr. Asquith's expense. Several detailed ac- 
counts of his playing golf with an escort of upwards 
of six policemen (some of which he took the trouble 
to deny) appeared in the Press. 

On Saturday, September 4th, whilst Mr. Asquith 
was being waylaid at Lympne, scenes in which there 


was a curious mingling of grave and gay, were tak- 
ing place in Manchester where Mr. Birrell was ad- 
dressing a Budget demonstration at the White City. 
The platform from which he was to speak and all 
the neighbouring roofs had been carefully searched 
for Suffragettes and with 200 stewards and fifty 
policemen in the Hall it was thus hoped that they 
would be excluded. But the women entered the 
American Cake-Walk show which adjoined the con- 
cert hall where the meeting was taking place on the 
one side, and the American Dragon Slide which 
came next it on the other, and from these two points 
they threw small missiles through the glass windows 
and succeeded in making their voices heard. It was 
impossible to arrest the Suffragettes who were on the 
cake-walk machine without cake-walking also and 
when a policeman mounted the machine in order to 
effect their capture, he found, to the great amuse- 
ment of the onlookers, that he had got on to the 
wrong platform and so was forced to play his part 
in what the Liverpool Courier described as " a spec- 
tacle, which from the point of its ludicrousness, must 
stand unparalleled in the annals of police adven- 
ture " ; for, as he was obliged to cake-walk forwards, 
so the offending women were compelled to cake-walk 
backwards. But if, as is possible, the Suffragettes 
in company with the rest of the public, found the 
spectacle amusing, their fun was soon at an end, for 
on Monday, they were sentenced to from one to two 
months' imprisonment in the second division.^ 

1 An attempt was made to charge some of the women with 
unlawful wounding because a man's hand had been cut by the 
falling glass, but on the wound being found to be very slight, 
the charge was reduced to one of common assault. 


At Strangcways Gaol, terrible punishments were 
meted out to them on the refusal to obey the rules, 
but these punishments were tempered by kindly acts 
on the part of many members of the staff. Some of 
the women were sentenced not only to close solitary 
confinement but to wear handcuffs for twenty-four 
hours and one of them tells that, when, after a sleep- 
less night, the matron took pity on her and ordered 
the handcuffs to be removed, she nearly fainted with 
pain, whilst the wardress worked her arms to restore 
the circulation. To another prisoner who refused 
to wear the prison clothes, was brought a " strange 
unclean leather and canvas jacket with straps and 
buckles attached." Into this she was forced and 
locked but somehow or other she managed to wrig- 
gle out, all but one arm, and the matron then ap- 
peared and ordered that the remaining strap should 
be unlocked. These Manchester prisoners were all 
released on Wednesday, the 8th September, after a 
four days' fast. 

On the same day were released six women who 
had been arrested in Leicester on the previous 
Saturday for holding a meeting of protest outside 
that addressed by Mr. Winston Churchill in the 
Palace Theatre. They also had carried out the 
hunger strike. 

In Dundee at three o'clock on the morning of Mon- 
day, September 13th, Miss Isabel Kelley, clad in 
gymnastic dress, was climbing a high scaffolding 
erected on the Bank of Scotland from which in the 
darkness she let herself down some twenty-five feet 
onto the roof of the Kinnaird Hall where Mr. 
Herbert Samuel was to hold a meeting the next 
night. There she lay concealed for seventeen hours 


until the meeting began. Then by means of a 
strong rope about twenty-four feet in length at one 
end of which was an iron hook, which she attached 
to the roof, and at the other a running noose, she 
entered the building by a skylight and found herself 
on the stairs leading to the gallery of the hall. She 
was able to rush in, but before a word had passed 
her lips she was seized by the stewards, handed over 
to the police and driven off in custody. 

Meanwhile other Suffragettes were leading a great 
charge of people to the door of the hall, but they 
too were arrested. "This was the second time that 
women had been arrested in Scotland in connection 
with Cabinet Ministers' meetings. In Glasgow, as 
we have seen, the officials had escheated the bail and 
allowed the prosecution to fall to the ground. Here 
in Dundee Miss Kelley and Miss Fraser Smith who 
had also succeeded in getting into the hall, were 
released, whilst the women who had been arrested 
outside were sent to prison for from ten to seven 
days in default of paying fines varying from £5 to 
£3. They all refused to obey the prison rules and 
carried out the hunger strike, and were released on 
Friday, the 17th of September, at 10:30 P. M. after 
having gone without food since the time of their 
arrest on the Monday. 

As soon as it had been announced that Mrs. Pank- 
hurst and those arrested with her were to go free 
until after their case had been discussed by the High 
Court, she had made her way to Cleveland in York- 
shire where a by-election was taking place owing to 
Mr. Herbert Samuel's elevation to the Cabinet as 
Post Master General. Mr. Samuel had hitherto 


acted as Under-Secretary at the Home Office, the 
Governmental Department which was responsible for 
the treatment of the Suffragettes in prison. Mr. 
Samuel began by scoffing at the opposition of the 
Suffragettes, referring to them as " wild women 
from Westminster"; but the people of Cleveland 
soon became ardent supporters of the Women's 
cause and flocked eagerly to their meetings. He 
then found it necessary to devote large parts of his 
speeches to combating the Suffragette arguments. 
He declared that it was a " wicked calumny " to 
say that the Government had sent women to prison 
for asking for votes and specially dissociated him- 
self from any part in the responsibility. At one 
moment he stated that Mr. Asquith had already 
promised to give women the vote and at another 
than the present Parliament could not do it, and 
again and again he accused the women of fighting 
with " Tory Gold." 

All this betrayed his fear that the women were 
turning votes. Even The Times, that anti-Suffra- 
gist newspaper which had always condemned the 
Suffragette tactics and minimised the effect of their 
work, acknowledged now that their attack was 
damaging the Government candidates' chances, and, 
on July 6th, the special correspondent of this paper 
wrote : 

The women suffragists have made a favourable impression 
upon the electorate and the miners specially appear to have 
been thoroughly converted by the new propaganda. . . . 
Some miners with whom I have talked would even vote 
for the candidate who was in favour of Women^s Suffrage 
without respect to his opinions upon other subjects. To 
put it more emphatically, a Women's Suffrage candidate, 


pure and simple, as a third candidate, would probably have 
endangered Mr. Samuel's re-election quite as much as a can- 
didate of the Labour party. 

Finally on the eve of the poll Mr. Herbert 
Samuel found it necessary to draw up a special leaf- 
let against the women, the only one on any subject 
which was sent out in a similar way. The result of 
the contest was, as the Liberals admitted, " disap- 
pointing " from their point of view, for, although 
Mr. Samuel was returned, in spite of his added pres- 
'tigc as a Cabinet Minister, his majority was enor- 
mously decreased. 

The figures were : 

Mr. H. Samuel, Liberal 6,296 

Mr. Windsor Lewis, Conservative. 5>325 

Liberal majority 971 

At the General Election of 1906 Mr. Herbert 
Samuel had been returned unopposed. 

Mr. H. Samuel, Liberal 5,834 

Mr, Jeffrey Drage, Conservative 3,798 

Liberal majority 2,036 

Meanwhile another by-election was being fought 
in Dumfriesburgh where the Liberal majority was 
again reduced. 



The Arrests at Birmingham; Forcible Feeding in 
WiNSON Green Gaol. Mr. Keir Hardie's Pro- 
test; Opinions of Medical Experts; Resignation 
OF Mr. Brailsford and Mr. Nevinson. 

And now on September 17th the Prime Minister 
was going up to Birmingham to hold a meeting of 
10,000 people at the great Binglcy Hall. A 
** bower bedecked " special train was to carry the 
Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament up 
north straight from their duties in the House, and 
back again. Tremendous efforts were being made 
to work up enthusiasm for at this meeting, Mr. 
Asquith was to throw down his challenge to the 
House of Lords, to proclaim that their power of 
veto should be abolished, and that the will of the 
people should prevail. But the Suffragettes were 
determined that, if the freedom to voice their will 
were to be confined to half the people alone, there 
should be no peace in Birmingham for the Prime 

Mrs. Leigh and her colleagues, who were organ- 
ising there, began by copying the police methods so 
far as to address a warning to the public not to at- 
tend Mr. Asquith's meeting, as disturbances were 
likely to ensue, and immediately the authorities were 
seized with panic. A great tarpaulin was stretched 



across the glass roof of the Bingley Hall, a tall fire 
escape was placed on each side of the building and 
hundreds of yards of firemen's hose were laid across 
the roof. Wooden barriers, nine feet high, were 
erected along the station platform and across all the 
leading thoroughfares in the neighbourhood, whilst 
the ends of the streets both in front and at the back 
of Bingley Hall were sealed up by barricades. 
Nevertheless, inside those very sealed up streets, 
numbers of Suffragettes had been lodging for days 
past and were quietly watching the arrangements. 
At the same time outside in the town a vigorous 
propaganda campaign was being carried on by their 
comrades, and this culminated in an enthusiastic 
Votes for Women demonstration in the Bull Ring 
the day before the great Liberal meeting. 

When Mr. Asquith left the House of Commons 
for his special train, detectives and policemen hemmed 
him in on every side, and when he arrived ^t the 
station in Birmingham, he was smuggled to the 
Queen's Hotel by a back subway a quarter of a 
mile in length and carried up in the luggage lift. 
In the hotel he took his meal alone in a private room 
away from his guests. Though guarded by a 
strong escort of mounted police he thought it wisest 
not to enter the hall by the entrance at which he 
had been expected. Meanwhile tremendous crowds 
were thronging the streets and the ticket holders 
were watched as closely as spies in time of war. 
They had to pass four barriers and were squeezed 
through them by a tiny gangway and then passed be- 
tween long lines of police and amid an incessant roar 
of '* show your ticket." The vast throngs of peo- 
ple who had no tickets and had only come out to 


see the show, surged against the barriers like great 
human waves and occasionally cries of " Votes for 
Women " were greeted with deafening cheers. 

Inside the hall there were armies of stewards and 
groups of police at every turn. The meeting be- 
gan by the singing of a song of freedom led by 
a band of trumpeters. Then the Prime Minister 
appeared. " For years past the people have been 
beguiled with unfulfilled promises," he declared, but 
during his speech he was again and again reminded, 
by men of the unfulfilled promises which had been 
made to women; and, though men who interrupted 
him on other subjects were never interfered with, 
these champions of the Suffragettes were, in every 
case, set upon with a violence which was described 
by onlookers as " revengeful," and " vicious." 
Thirteen men were maltreated in this way. 

Meanwhile amid the vast crowds outside women 
were fighting for their freedom. Cabinet Ministers 
had Sheered at them and taunted them with not being 
able to use physical force. " Working men have 
flung open the franchise door at which the ladies 
are scratching," Mr. John Burns had said. So now 
they were showing that, if they would, they could 
use violence, though they were determined that, at 
any rate as yet, they would hurt no one. Again and 
again they charged the barricades, one woman with 
a hatchet in her hand, and the friendly people al- 
ways pressed forward with them. In spite of a thou- 
sand police the first barrier was many times thrown 
down. Whenever a woman was arrested the crowd 
struggled to secure her release and over and over 
again they were successful, one woman being snatched 
from the constables no fewer than seven times. 


Inside the hall Mr. Asquith had not only the men 
to contend with, for the meeting had not long been 
In progress, when there was a sudden sound of splin- 
tering glass and a woman's voice was heard loudly 
denouncing the Government. A missile had been 
thrown through one of the ventilators by a number 
of Suffragettes from an open window in a house op- 
posite. The police rushed to the house door, burst 
it open and scrambled up the stairs, falling over 
each other in their haste to reach the women, and 
then dragged them down and flung them into the 
street where they were immediately placed under 
arrest. Even whilst this was happening there burst 
upon the air the sound of an electric motor horn 
which issued from another house near by. Evi- 
dently there were Suffragettes there too. The front 
door of this house was barricaded and so also was 
the door of the room in which the women were, but 
the infuriated Liberal Stewards forced their way 
through and wrested the instrument from the 
woman's hands. 

No sooner was this effected however than the rat- 
tling of missiles was heard on the other side of 
the hall, and, on the roof of a house, thirty feet 
above the street, lit up by a tall electric standard 
was seen the little agile figure of Mrs. Leigh, with 
a tall fair girl beside her, both of whom were tearing 
up the slates with axes, and flinging them on to the 
roof of the Bingley Hall and down into the road 
below, always, however, taking care to hit no one 
and sounding a warning before throwing. The 
police cried to them to stop and angry stewards came 
rushing out of the hall to second this demand, but 
the women calmly went on with their work. A lad- 


der was produced and the men prepared to mount it, 
but the only reply was a warning to " be careful " 
and all present felt that discretion was the better 
part of valour. Then the jfire hose was dragged 
forward, but the firemen refused to turn it on, and 
so the police themselves played it on the women until 
they were drenched to the skin. The slates had 
now become terribly slippery, and the women were 
in great danger of sliding from the steep roof, but 
they had already taken off their shoes and so con- 
trived to retain a foothold, and without intermission 
they continued " firing " slates. Finding that water 
had no power to subdue them, their opponents re- 
taliated by throwing bricks and stones up at the two 
women, but, instead of trying, as they had done to 
avoid hitting, the men took good aim at them and 
soon blood was running down the face of the tall 
girl, Charlotte Marsh, and both had been struck sev- 
eral times. 

At last Mr. Asquith had said his say and came 
hurrying out of the building. A slate was hurled 
at the back of his car as it drove away, and then 
** firing " ceased from the roof for the Cabinet Min- 
ister was gone. Seeing that they had now nothing 
to fear the police at once placed a ladder against the 
house and scrambled up to bring the Suffragettes 
down and then, without allowing them to put on 
their shoes, they marched them through the streets, 
in their stockinged feet, the blood streaming from 
their wounds and their wet garments clinging to 
their limbs. At the police station bail was refused 
and the two women were sent to the cells to pass the 
night in their drenched clothing. 

Meanwhile, amid the hooting of the crowd, Mn 


Asquith had driven away through the town and as 
the special train in which he was to return to London, 
left the station, a shower of small stones rattled 
against his carriage window, whilst a great bar of 
iron was flung into an empty compartment in the 
rear. The two women who had done these things 
were at once seized by the police and were also 
obliged to pass the night in the cells, whilst six who 
had been arrested in the crowd earlier, met the same 

Eventually eight of the women received sentences 
of imprisonment varying from one month to four- 
teen days, whilst Charlotte Marsh was sent to prison 
for three months' hard labour, and Mrs. Leigh for 
four. We knew that Mrs. Leigh and her comrades 
in the Birmingham Prison would carry out the 
hunger strike, and, on the following Friday, Sep- 
tember 24th, reports appeared in the Press that the 
Government had resorted to the horrible expedient 
of feeding them by force by means of a tube passed 
into the stomach. Filled with concern the committee 
of the Women's Social and Political Union at once 
applied both to the prison and to the Home Office 
to know if this were true but all information was 

The W. S. P. U. now made inquiries as to 
the probable results of this treatment, and were in- 
formed that it was liable to cause laceration of 
the throat and grave and permanent injury to the 
digestive functions, and that, especially if the patient 
should resist, as the tube was being inserted or with- 
drawn there was serious danger of its going astray 
and penetrating the lungs or some other vital part. 
The whole operation, together with all the attendant 


circumstances, could not fail to put a most excessive 
strain upon the heart and the entire nervous system, 
and, if there were any heart weakness, death might 
ensue at any moment. In the Lancet for September 
28th, 1872, a case was reported of a man under 
sentence of death, who had been forcibly fed by 
means of the stomach pump, that is to say by means 
of an india-rubber tube passed through the mouth 
into the stomach, the method used in the case of the 
Suffragettes. The man had died. In the same issue 
of the Lancet, appeared the opinion upon this ques- 
tion of several prominent medical men. Dr. Ander- 
son Moxey, M.D., M.R.C.P., had said: ** If any- 
one were to ask me to name the worst possible treat- 
ment for suicidal starvation I should say unhesita- 
tingly, forcible feeding by means of the stomach 
pump." Dr. Tennant stated that this method of 
feeding produced *' an incentive to resistance," and 
that the exhaustion thereby introduced was some- 
times so great as to cause death by syncope. Dr. 
Russell had met with a case in which death had oc- 
curred immediately after the placing of the tube 
"before it could be withdrawn, much less used"; 
and Dr. ConoUy was " appalled by the dangers 
resulting from the forcible administration of food 
by the mouth." Amongst the various important 
medical experts consulted by The Women's Social 
and Political Union was Dr. Forbes Winslow, whose 
wide experience in cases of insanity could not be 
questioned. When asked professionally to give his 
views on the subject he said: 

So far as the stomach pump is concerned it is an instru- 
ment I have long ago discontinued using, even in the most 

Forcible Feeding with the Nasal Tube 


serious cases of melancholia, where the victim, perhaps from 
some religious delusion, refuses all nourishment. It possibly 
may be regarded by some as the most simple means of ad- 
ministering food, but this I challenge by saying at once that it 
is the most complicated and the most dangerous. . . . 
I have known some of the most serious injuries inflicted 
by the persistent use of the stomach pump. I have known a 
case in which the tongue has been partly bitten off where 
it has been twisted behind the feeding tube. 

He added that forcible feeding was especially dangerous 
in cases of heart or lung weakness or of rupture or hernia, 
and that the result of persistent use would be to seriously 
injure the constitution, to lacerate the parts surrounding the 
mouth, to break and ruin the teeth. 

When the House of Commons met on Monday 
we learnt that our fears were only too well founded 
for Mr. Keir Hardie drew from Mr. Masterman, 
who spoke on the Home Secretary's behalf, the ad- 
mission that the Suffragettes in Winson Green Gaol 
were being forcibly fed by means of a tube which 
was passed through the mouth and into the stomach 
and through which the food was pumped. The un- 
precedented and outrageous nature of the assault 
was glossed over by the use of the term, " Hospital 
treatment," in connection with it. Mr. Masterman 
admitted, however, that there were no regulations 
which authorised the proceeding, but he stated that 
it was resorted to in the case of men and women 
prisoners who were "weak minded" or "contuma- 

Mr. Hardie's indignant protest and reminder that 
the last man prisoner to whom such treatment had 
been meted out had died under it, were met with 
shouts of laughter by the supporters of the Govern- 



ment. Horrified by their heartless and unseemly 
levity in the face of so serious a question, he at once 
addressed a statement to the Press in which he de- 
clared that he *' could not have believed that a body 
of gentlemen could have found reason for mirth 
and applause " in a scene which had " no parallel in 
the recent history of our country." As far as he 
could le^fn, no power to feed by force had been 
given to prison authorities, save in the case of per- 
sons certified to be insane. He concluded by warn- 
ing the public of the danger that one of the pris- 
oners would succumb to the so-called " hospital 
treatment," and by appealing to the people of these 
islands to speak out ere our annals had been stained 
by such a tragedy. 

Others hastened to second this protest. Mr. C. 
Mansell-MouUin, M.D., F.R.C.S., wrote to The 
Times, as a hospital surgeon of thirty years' stand- 
ing, to indignantly repudiate Mr. Masterman's use 
of the term " hospital treatment," declaring that it 
was a " foul libel " for that " violence and brutality 
have no place in hospitals as Mr. Masterman ought 
to know." Dr. Forbes Ross of Harley Street wrote 
to the Press saying: 

As a medical man, without any particular feeling for the 
cause of the Suffragettes, I consider that forcible feeding 
by the methods employed is an act of brutality beyond com- 
mon endurance, and I am astounded that it is possible for 
Members of Parliament, with mothers, wives and sisters of 
their own, to allow it. 

A memorial signed by 1 1 6 doctors, headed by Sir 
Victor Horsley, F.R.C.S., W. Hugh Fenton, M.D. 
M.A., C. Mansell-MouUin, M.D., F.R.C.S., Forbes 


Winslow, M.D., and Alexander Haig, M.D., 
F.R.C.P., was organised by Dr. Flora Murray and 
addressed to Mr. Asquith, protesting against the 
artificial feeding of the Suffragette prisoners, on the 
ground that it was attended by the gravest risks and 
was both unwise and inhuman. To this memorial 
many of the doctors added descriptive notes of their 
own. Mr. W. A. Davidson, M.D., F.R.C.S., wrote: 
" A most cruel and brutal procedure. Were the 
tubes clean? Were they new? If not they have 
probably been used for people suffering from some 
disease. The inside of the tube cannot well be 
cleaned; very often the trouble is not taken to clean 
them." 1 

In spite of every form of discouragement and 
ridicule, Mr. Keir Hardie continued constantly to 
raise the question of forcible feeding in the House 
of Commons only to be met by evasive, and some- 
times grossly, inaccurate replies from the Home 
Office. Mr. Gladstone tried to shelter himself be- 
hind the officials who were his subordinates, and to^ 
place the responsibility on the medical officers. 
For this he was strongly condemned by the British 
Medical Journal which characterised his conduct as 

In reply to the protests of medical men and the 

1 Mr. Gladstone afterwards stated in the House that the tubes 
were carefully cleaned and kept in boracic solution between 
each operation, but Miss Dorothy Pethick, who was imprisoned 
in Newcastle, saw the tube lying open and exposed in a basket 
in the reception room. 

2 The British Journal of Nursing stated that even under the 
most favourable circumstances forcible feeding required " deli- 
cate manipulation," and that it was an operation which should 
only be performed by medical practitioners or trained nurses 


memorial from doctors, which had been addressed 
to him, Mr. Gladstone succeeded in drawing a state- 
ment from Sir Richard Douglas Powell, the Presi- 
dent of the Royal College of Physicians, who said 
that he thought the memorial exaggerated, though 
he admitted that forcible feeding was not *' wholly 
free from possibilities of accident with those who 
resist." He added that, in dissenting from the view 
expressed by the memorialists, he was assuming that 
the feeding of the prison patients was " entirely car- 
ried out by skilled nursing attendants under careful 
medical observation and control." We, of course, 
know thajt this was not the case. 

A large number of doctors, including Dr. R. G. 
Layton, physician to the Walsall hospital, replied to 
Sir Douglas Powell by again recapitulating the dan- 
gers of forcible feeding. But indeed the opinions 
of medical men were unnecessary to those who after- 
wards came in contact with the women who had been 
forcibly fed. Their exhausted condition was a form 
of evidence that no argument could upset. It is im- 
portant to note also that during the year 19 lo two 
ordinary criminals, a man and a woman, were sub- 
jected to forcible feeding. The man died during 
the first operation; the woman committed suicide 
after the second. 

Meanwhile the bulk of the Liberal Press were 
defending the action of their Government. 
The Daily News had acclaimed .Vera Figner for 
assaulting one of the Russian prison officials in order 
to secure better conditions for her fellow captives. 
It had characterised as the " one healthy symptom 

and pointed out that the prison wardresses were quite unquali- 
fied to take part in it. 


in Spain " the revolt of the Spanish people against 
their Government in regard to the Riffian War 
though this revolt had entailed the burning down of 
convents full of women and children who were 
in no way responsible for the trouble, and other 
dread acts of violence. At the same time in re- 
gard to events at home this paper was declaring that, 
if the House of Lords were to tamper with the Irish 
Land Bill, there would be "no wonder if all the old 
methods of cattle-driving and other violence were 
revived in Ireland." Yet the Daily News had had 
nothing but chiding and dispraise for the hunger 
strikers, and, in regard to forcible feeding, it now 
said, " it is the only alternative to allowing the 
women to starve themselves." Thus the two most 
obvious ways out of the difficulty, firstly, that of 
treating the women as political prisoners, and, 
secondly, the more reasonable one of extending the 
franchise to women and thus ending the strife, were 
entirely ignored. 

Revolted by the hypocritical and inconsistent at- 
titude of this paper, two of its foremost leader 
writers and of the ablest journalists in this country, 
Mr. Henry Nevinson and Mr. H. N. Brailsford, 
resigned their posts upon its staff, writing publicly to 
explain their reasons for so doing. Many sincere 
Liberals resigned their memberships and official posts 
under the Liberal Association including the Rev. J. 
M. Lloyd Thomas, Minister of the High Pavement 
Chapel, Nottingham, resigned from the Liberal As- 
sociation, and there were many other resignations, 
among them the following: Mrs. Catherine C. 
Osier, the President, Miss Gertrude E. Sothall, the 
Hon. Sec, and Mrs. Alice Yoxall, the Treasurer of 


the Birmingham Women's Liberal Association; 
Mrs. S. Reid, the chairman of the Egbaston 
Women's Liberal Association; Lady Blake, the 
President of the Berwick Women's Liberal Asso- 
ciation; and Mrs. Branch, one of the most promi- 
nent members of the Northampton Women's Liberal 
Association. At the same time prominent men and 
women of all shades of opinion, including Mrs. 
Ayrton, Flora Annie Steel, Lady Betty Balfour, the 
Rev. J. R. Campbell and the Hon. H. B. T. Strange- 
ways, ex-premier of South Australia appealed to the 
Government to give votes to women and bring this 
useless warfare to an end. 

Meanwhile, except for the admissions of Mr. 
Gladstone and Mr. Masterman in the House of 
Commons, nothing definite was known as to the con- 
dition of the outraged prisoners. No direct com- 
munication had been held with them and even a 
petition from their parents and relatives to be al- 
lowed to send their own medical attendant into the 
prison, had been refused. The fearful anxiety and 
suspense endured by all concerned may well be 
imagined. Again and again Messrs. Hatchett, 
Jones, Bisgood and Marschall, the solicitors engaged 
to act on the prisoners' behalf, applied for permission 
to interview their clients, but Mr. Gladstone ob- 
stinately refused until he was informed that legal 
proceedings were being taken for assault against him 
and the Governor and Doctor of the Birmingham 
Prison, and that writs were being issued, and that 
Miss Laura Ainsworth would shortly be released so 
that the full details would be known in any case. 
Thus at last he grudingly consented to the inter- 
view, and sworn statements were made by all the 


women. Mrs. Leigh explained that on arriving at 
WInson Green Gaol on Wednesday, September 22nd, 
she had broken her cell windows as a protest against 
the prison treatment. As a punishment she was thrust 
that evening into a cold dimly lit punishment cell. 
A plank bed was brought in and she was forcibly 
stripped and handcuffed with the hands behind 
during the day, except at meal times when the palms 
were placed together in front. At night the hands 
were fastened in front with the palms out. Pota- 
toes, bread and gruel were brought into her cell 
on Thursday but she did not touch them and in the 
afternoon she was taken, still handcuffed, before the 
magistrates who sentenced her to a further nine days 
in the punishment cell. At midnight on Thursday, 
her wrists being terribly swollen and painful, the 
handcuffs were removed. 

She still refused food ^nd on Saturday she was 
taken to the doctor's room. Here is her account of 
the affair : 

The doctor said : " You must listen carefully to what 
I have to say. I have my orders from my superior offi- 
cers" (he had a blue official paper in his hand to which 
he referred) " that you are not to be released even on med- 
ical grounds. If you still refrain from food I must take 
other measures to compel you to take it." I then said: 
" I refuse, and if you force food on me, I want to know 
how you are going to do it." He said : " That is a matter 
for me to decide." I said that he must prove that I was 
insane; that the Lunacy Commissioners would have to be 
summoned to prove that I was insane. I declared that for- 
cible feeding was an operation, and therefore could not be 
performed without a sane patient's consent. He merely 
bowed and said: "Those are my orders." 


She was then surrounded and held down, whilst 
the chair was tilted backwards. She clenched her 
teeth but the doctor pulled her mouth away to form 
a pouch and the wardress poured in milk and brandy 
some of which trickled in through the crevices. 
Later in the day the doctors and wardresses 
again appeared. They forced her down on to the 
bed, and held her there. One of the doctors then 
produced a tube two yards in length with a 
glass junction in the centre and a funnel at one end. 
He forced the other end of the tube up* her nostril, 
hurting her so terribly that the matron and two >s^ 
the wardresses burst into tears and the seconay 
doctor interfered. At last the tube was pushed 
down into the stomach. She felt the pain of 
it to the end of the breast bone. Then one of the 
doctors stood upon a chair holding the funnel 
end of the tube at arm's length and poured food 
down whilst the wardresses and the other doc- 
tor all gripped her tight. She felt as though she 
would suffocate. There was a rushing, burning sen- 
sation in her head, the drums of her ears seemed to * 
be bursting. The agony of pain in the throat and i 
breast bone continued. The thing seemed to go \ 
on for hours. When at last the tube was withdrawn, 
she felt as though all the back of her nose and throat ' 
were being torn out with it. 

Then almost fainting she was carried back to the 
punishment cell and put to bed. For hours the pain 
in the chest, nose and ears continued and she 
felt terribly sick and faint. Day after day the 
struggle continued; she used no violence but each 
time resisted and was overcome by force of numbers. 
Often she vomited during the operation. When the 



food did not go down quickly enough the doctor 
pinched her nose with the tube in it causing her even 
greater pain. 

On Tuesday afternoon she heard Miss Edwards, 
one of her fellow prisoners, cry from an open door- 
way opposite, " Locked in a padded cell since Sun- 
day." Then the door was shut. She applied to 
see the visiting magistrates, and appealed to them 
on behalf of her comrade, saying that she knew her 
to have a weak heart, but was told that no prisoner 
could interfere on another's behalf. She protested 
by breaking the windows of the hospital cell to 
which, owing to her weakness, she had now been 
taken, and was then thrust into the padded cell 
as Miss Edwards was taken from it, the bed which 
she had occupied being still warm. The padded 
cell was lined with some India rubber-like stuff, and 
she felt as though she would suffocate for want 
of air. She was kept there till Wednesday, still 
being fed by force. 

On Saturday she felt that she could endure 
the agony of it no longer, and determined to bar- 
ricade her cell. She piled up her bed and chair, 
but after three hours men warders forced the door 
open with spades. Then the chief warder threat- 
ened and abused her and she was dragged back to the 
padded cell. 

In Miss Ainsworth's case the feeding was done 
through the mouth. Her jaws were pried open 
with a steel instrument to allow of the gag being 
placed between her teeth. She experienced great 
sickness, especially when the tube was being with- 

Miss Hilda Burkitt's experiences were very 


dreadful. She had already fasted four days and 
was extremely weak when she was seized by two 
doctors, four wardresses and the matron, who tried 
for more than half an hour to force her to swallow 
from the feeding cup. Then a tube was forced up 
her nose, but she succeeded in coughing it back 
twice and at last, very near collapse, she was car- 
ried to her cell and put to bed by the wardresses. 
** This will kill me sooner than starving," she said, 
" I cannot stand much more of it, but I am proud 
you have not beaten me yet." Still suffering 
greatly in head, nose and throat, she was left alone 
for half an hour and the matron and wardresses 
then returned to persuade her to take fogd. On 
her refusal they said, " Well, you will have to come 
again; they are waiting." " Oh, surely not the tor- 
ture chamber again," she cried; but they lifted her 
out of bed and carried her back to the doctors, who 
again attempted to force her to drink from the feed- 
ing cup. Still she was able to resist and then one 
of them said, ** The Home Office has given me 
every power to use what force I like. I am going 
to use the stomach pump." " It is illegal and an 
assault; I shall prosecute you," was her reply, but 
as she spoke a gag was forced into her mouth and the 
tube followed. She had almost fainted and felt 
as if she were going to die, and now for some reason 
the tube was withdrawn without having been used, 
but in her great weakness the officials were now 
able to overcome her resistance and to pour liquid 
into her mouth with the feeding cup. 

This sort of thing went on day after day. On 
Thursday morning she was unconscious when they 
came into her cell, and they succeeded in feeding her. 



During the night she was in agony. She told the 
doctor he had given her too much food and cried: 
" For mercy's sake, let me be, I am too tired," but 
brandy and Benger's food were forcibly adminis- 
tered. During the whole month she only slept four 

But the story of these sufferings had no power 
to influence the Government. They were deter- 
mined to persevere with the forcible feeding and 
were so far from abandoning this hateful form of 
torture, that, evidently thinking the women who 
had won their way out of prison by the hunger 
strike had been let off too easily, they proceeded to 
rearrest a number of them upon the most flimsy 
charges. Evelyn Wurrie, who had been arrested 
with Mrs. Leigh and the others, but afterwards 
discharged by the magistrate, had been refused bail 
between the time of her arrest and trial and kept for 
seventeen hours as an ordinary prisoner in the insan- 
itary police court cells. She might have been 
thought, therefore, to be entitled to claim damages 
for wrongful arrest and detention, but was neverthe- 
less rearrested because she had broken the cell win- 
dow to obtain more air, and was sentenced either to 
pay a fine of eleven shillings or go to prison for seven 
days. She chose imprisonment, but her fine was paid 
by a member of the Birmingham Liberal Club. 
Miss Rona Robinson, Miss Florence Clarkson, Miss 
Georgina Heallis and Miss Bertha Brewster, who 
had all gone through the hunger strike in Liverpool, 
were also summoned for breaking their cell windows, 
in spite of the fact that they had already been se- 
verely punished in prison for these offences. On 
their refusal to answer to the summons, warrants wer^ 



issued for their arrest. Rona Robinson, who was 
said to have committed damage to ^the extent of 
two shillings, was arrested on October 15th in Man- 
chester, and was taken the same night to Liverpool. 
Though her doctor had certified her to be suffering 
from laryngeal catarrh and a weak, irregular action 
of the heart, she was sent back to prison for four- 
teen days' imprisonment in the third division. Owing 
to the state of her health, the Liverpool authori- 
ties refused to take the responsibility of feeding her 
by force and she was accordingly released after a 
fast of seventy-two hours. 

The other warrants were not executed for some 
time; that against Miss Florence Clarkson being held 
over until December, when she happened to notify 
the Manchester police of a burglary that had taken 
place in the W. S. P. U. offices in that city. She 
was then immediately arrested on the old charge; 
bail was refused and she was kept in custody from 
Saturday to Monday, when she was punished by a 
further fortnight's imprisonment for having com- 
mitted damage to the value of 6d. three months 
before. After three days (on December 15th), she 
was rdeased in a state of complete collapse. The 
warrant against Miss Bertha Brewster was held over 
until January, when she was sentenced to six weeks' 
hard labour to pay for her 3/9 damage. 

OCTOBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 1910 

Arrest of Lady Constance Lytton and Others at 
Newcastle. Suffragettes Attacked at Aber- 
nethy. Hose Pipe Played on Miss Davison in 
Strangeways Gaol, Manchester. Mr. Asquith at 
THE Albert Hall. 

Whilst our comrades were thus enduring ago- 
nies in prison, protest meetings were being held in all 
parts of the country. The Daily News said of the 
people in our movement: " They are no longer men 
and women; they are a whirlwind." 

During the first three days of forcible feeding 
£1,200 was collected. At a great demonstration in 
the Albert Hall on October 7th, a further £2,300 
was subscribed, and the £50,000 campaign fund be- 
ing complete, a fund of £100,000 was started. At 
this meeting a procession of women who had already 
gone through the hunger strike marched up to the 
platform carrying the purple, white and green tri- 
coloured flags of the Union, and here Mrs. Pank- 
hurst, who was on the eve of her departure for Amer- 
ica, decorated them with medals in recognition of 
their services to the cause. The scene was one of 
the most tremendous enthusiasm; it was one which 
none of those present will ever forget. 

On October 9th a great political pageant was held 
in Edinburgh, when a procession of women, led by 



Scotch pipers and Mrs. Drummond in her general's 
uniform, astride a prancing charger, marched 
through the streets, accompanied by a number of 
tableaux representing the figures of heroic women 
famous in Scottish history. 

On October 4th, Lord Morley, as Chancellor of 
the Victoria University, visited Manchester to open 
the University's new chemical laboratory. Deeply 
moved by the suflFerings of Mrs. Leigh and her com- 
rades in Winson Green Gaol, Miss Rona Robinson, 
M.Sc, and Miss Dora Marsden, B.A., both grad- 
uates of the University, and the former a subscriber 
also to the new laboratory, attended in their aca- 
demic robes, and, with Miss Mary Gawthorpe, ad- 
vanced down the central aisle of the Whitworth Hall 
of the University, just as Lord Morley was about to 
speak. Each one raising a hand in appeal, they said 
in concert: ** My Lord, our women are in prison." 

The rowdiness of the young men students of our 
British universities is time-honoured; their almost 
deafening shouts and yells and practical jokes, al- 
ways in evidence at functions such as this, are 
invariably received with amused tolerance by the 
authorities. Mr. Asquith himself, when addressing 
the students of the University of which he is Chancel- 
lor, did not disdain to wait with a smile until their 
play was done before he could address them. 
Nevertheless the earnest, quietly-spoken words of 
these three young women were scarcely uttered when 
they were pounced upon by a number of strange 
men, who dragged them out of the Hall, and as 
soon as they were lost to sight by the audience, fell 
to striking, pummelling, and pinching them, as they 
pushed them into the street. The passers-by rushed 


OCTOBER, igoQ, TO JANUARY, igio 447 

up to know what had happened, and at once the po- 
lice ordered the three women to move on. They re- 
plied that they would not leave until their graduates' 
caps and other belongings, which had been torn from 
them, were restored, and until the names of 
the men who had ejected them were given. There- 
upon, without further argument, the police seized 
them and dragged them to the police station, where 
they were accused of disorderly conduct and abusive 
language, in Oxford Street. These ridiculous 
charges could not be substantiated and were after- 
wards withdrawn by the Chief Constable of Man- 
chester and the Vice Chancellor of the University. 

Such women as Mrs. Baines and Mrs. Leigh, both 
capable of the firiest zeal and the most reckless hero- 
ism, spurred on by stern first-hand knowledge of the 
crushing handicaps with which the woman wage- 
earner has to contend, and the terrible disabilities 
which are rivetted upon her, had found it not diffi- 
cult to become rebels. The torture of women in 
prison was now making it easy for gentler and hap- 
pier spirits to cast aside also the mere going on depu- 
tations and asking of questions and, whilst doing 
hurt to none, yet by symbolic acts to shadow forth 
the violence that coercion always breeds. 

On October 9th Mr. Lloyd George was to speak 
at Newcastle and the town was prepared as though 
for a revolution. Police and detectives were to 
be seen in hundreds and great barriers were 
erected across the streets. The night before the 
meeting twelve women met quietly together to 
lay their plans fpr opposing these tremendous forces. 
Amongst them was Lady Constance Lytton, who 
had already served one imprisonment for the cause 


in the previous February, and who, as daughter and 
sister of an English peer, wished to place herself 
side by side with Mrs. Leigh, the working woman 
who was being tortured in Birmingham, — to do what 
she had done, prepared to suffer the same penalty. 
Mrs. J. E. M. Brailsford, who had joined the 
Women's Social & Political Union but a few 
weeks before, was another who had come forward 
to bear her share in this fight. (It was Mrs. Brails- 
ford's husband who with Mr. Nevinson had recently 
thrown up his post as leader writer to the Dally 
News, because of his sympathy with the Suffra- 
gettes). Amongst these women were also two hos- 
pital nurses, whilst two of the others, Miss Kath- 
leen Brown and Miss Dorothy Shallard, had al- 
ready won their way out of prison through the hun- 
ger strike. 

Next night, whilst vast throngs of people lined 
the streets and the police were massed in their thou- 
sands to guard from them the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, " the son of the people," as he called him- 
self, the twelve women quietly proceeded to do their 
deeds. It was rumoured that Mr. Lloyd George 
was to stay with Sir Walter Runciman, and, seeing 
the latter gentleman's motor car driving through the 
streets, Lady Constance Lytton threw a stone at it, 
carefully aiming at the radiator in order that, with- 
out injuring anyone, she might strike the car. Miss 
Dorothy Pethick and Miss Kitty Marion entered 
the General Post Office and, having carefully selected 
a window in the neighbourhood of which there was 
no one to be hurt, they went out and cast their 
stones through it with a cry of " Votes for Women." 
A number of other women were also arrested for 

OCTOBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, igio 449 

similar acts. Mrs. Brailsford walked quietly up 
to one of the police barriers and stood resting an in- 
nocent-looking bouquet of chrysanthemums upon it. 
Suddenly the flowers fell to the ground disclosing 
an axe which she raised and let fall with one dull 
thud on the wooden bar. It was a symbolic act of 
revolution, and, like her comrades,* she was dragged 
away by the police. By direct order of the Home 
Office bail was refused and eight of the Suffragettes 
were kept in the police court cells from Saturday 
until Monday, without an opportunity of undress- 
ing, without a mattress, and with nothing but a rug 
in which to wrap themselves at night. 

Whilst the women who had thus been lodged in 
prison had been making their protest outside Mr. 
Lloyd George's meeting, there were men who were 
speaking for them within. As the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer was running through the list of taxes 
in the Budget, a man complained that " there was no 
tax on stomach pumps." The whole house rose at 
that and the man was violently ejected. Many oth- 
ers followed his example. Mr. Lloyd George 
taunted them by saying: '' There are many ways of 
earning a living, and I think this is the most objec- 
tionable of them/'^ and by asking: "Arc there any 
more of these hirelings?'^ Evidently he thought 
that there were no men disinterested enough to sup- 
port the cause of women unless they received pay 
for iO 

On Monday, whilst the other women received sen- 
tences varying from fourteen days to one month's 
hard labour. Lady Constance Lytton and Mrs. 

^ Mr. Lloyd George's baseless insinuation was of course in- 
dignantly and publicly repudiated by the men concerned. 


Brailsford were ordered to be bound over to be of 
good behaviour, and on refusing were sent to prison 
in the second division for one month. The authori- 
ties were evidently very loath to convict these two 
ladies, one of them because of her rank, and the 
other because of her own and her husband's associ- 
ation with the Liberal party, but both were deter- 
mined to stand by their comrades and steadfastly 
refused to express any regret for what they had done. 

Their hope that their courageous action might save 
Mrs. Leigh and the other Birmingham prisoners 
from further suffering proved to be vain, and on 
Wednesday, October 13th, Lady Constance Lytton 
and Mrs. Brailsford, both of whom had refused 
food, were released after having been imprisoned 
for no more than two and a half days. Mr. Glad- 
stone asserted that in deciding to release them, he had 
not been in any way influenced by regard for their 
position, but that they had been turned out of prison 
on purely medical grounds. It was indeed true that 
Lady Constance was exceedingly fragile and deli- 
cate and that she suffered from a slight heart affec- 
tion, but Mrs. Brailsford protested that she herself 
was perfectly well and strong. 

The eight other women were all forcibly fed and 
all but two were retained in prison till the end of 
their sentence. In most cases the nasal tube was 
used; it always caused headache and sickness. The 
nostrils soon became terribly inflamed and every one 
of the women lost weight and suffered from great 
and growing weakness. 

On Saturday, October i6th, Mr. Winston Church- 
ill was to speak at an open-air gathering at 
Abernethy, some sixteen miles from Dundee. The 

OCTOBER, igoQ, TO JANUARY, 1910 451 

W. S. P. U. had no intention of heckling him or cre- 
ating any disturbance, for after much pressing and 
a lengthy correspondence he had agreed to fulfil a 
promise made to the Women's Freedom League in 
the previous January to receive a Woman's Suffrage 
deputation on the following Monday. Nevertheless 
the occasion was thought a suitable one for distrib- 
uting Suffrage literature and for holding a meeting 
somewhere in the neighbourhood. Adela Pank- 
hurst, Mrs. Archdale, the daughter of Russell, the 
founder of the great Liberal newspaper, " The Scots- 
man," Mrs. Frank Corbett, the sister-in-law of a 
Member of Parliament, and Miss C. Jolly accord- 
ingly decided to motor over there. 

They started off on a crisp bright autumn day, 
the clouds high, the sun shining and the trees 
all turning gold, and the little frost sparkles gleam- 
ing on the good hard road. Everything began 
auspiciously but before long they were held up by 
a punctured tire. Owing to this delay they lost 
the opportunity of giving out leaflets to the people 
as they arrived, for the audience had already 
entered the big tent where the speaking was to take 
place when the Suffragettes drove up. Standing 
in the road were some thirty or forty men, 
all wearing the yellow rosettes of official Liberal 
stewards, and as the car slowed down, they rushed 
furiously towards it, shouting and tearing up sods 
from the road and pelting the women with them. 
One man pulled out a knife and began to cut the 
tires, whilst the others feverishly pulled the loose 
pieces off with their fingers. The Suffragettes tried 
to quiet them with a few words of explanation, 
but their only reply was to pull the hood of the motor 


over the women's heads and then to beat it and batter 
It until it was broken in several places. Then they 
tore at the women's clothes and tried to pull them 
out of the car, whilst the son of the gentleman in 
whose grounds the meeting was being held then 
drove up in another motor and threw a shower of 
pepper in the women's eyes. The shouts of the men 
reached the tent where Mr. Churchill was speaking, 
and numbers of people flocked out and watched the 
scene from over the hedge, but only two gentlemen 
had the courage to come to the aid of the women, 
and their efforts availed little against the large band 
of stewards. At last, fearing that his motor would 
be entirely wrecked, the driver put on full speed and 
drove away. The only excuse for the stewards who 
took part in this extraordinary occurrence is that 
many of them were intoxicated. 

On Monday, as he had promised, Mr. Churchill 
received the deputation from the Women's Freedom 
League. He then entirely departed from what he 
had said during the elections both in Manchester and 
at Dundee itself. In Manchester, when asked what 
he would do to help to secure the enfranchisement of 
women he had said: "I will try my best as and 
when occasion offers." He had added that the 
women Suffragists had *' now got behind them a 
great popular demand," and that their movement 
was assuming " the same character as Franchise 
movements have previously assumed." In Dundee 
he had said that Women's Suffrage would be " a 
real practical issue " at the next general election and 
that he thought that the next Parliament ** ought to 
see " the gratification of the women's claim. Now 
that no election was in prospect he said : " Looking 


OCTOBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 1910 453 

back over the last four years I am bound to say I 
think your cause has marched backwards." He fur- 
ther said that the mass of people still remained to 
be converted and that, so far as he could see, women's 
enfranchisement would not ** figure either in the 
programme of any great political party " or " in the 
election address of any prominent man," and that, 
until militant tactics were discontinued, he himself 
would render no assistance to the cause. A more 
flagrant example of political dishonesty than that 
which these conflicting statements of Mr. ChurchilPs 
presented, it would be difficult to find and not merely 
the Suffragettes but the people of Dundee freely 
expressed their disapproval. 

On Tuesday, Mr. Churchill was to speak in the 
Kinnaird Hall, and huge crowds then filled the 
streets and in spite of the tremendous force of police 
the barricades were stormed. Led by Mrs. Cor- 
bett, Miss Joachim, and Mrs. Archdale, they shouted 
** Votes for Women," and rushed again and again 
at the doors of the Hall. The three women who led 
the crowds were arrested but the storm still went 

Adela Pankhurst and Miss C. Jolly, who had lain 
concealed there since the previous Sunday, had 
raised the cry, " Votes for Women," in a little dark 
room, the windows of which overlooked the large 
hall. After a .tussle with the police and stewards, 
which lasted three quarters of an hour, they were ar- 
rested and with the three who had been taken in the 
street, were eventually sent to prison for ten days. 
They immediately commenced the hunger strike, and 
were set free on Sunday, 24th October, after having 
gone without food for five and a half days. Whilst 


they were in prison, huge crowds came to the gates 
every night to cheer them, and on the next night 
after their release the men of Dundee organised a 
meeting of protest, in the Kinnaird Hall. 

Meanwhile, four Suffragettes were suffering the 
torture of forcible feeding in Strangeways Gaol, 
Manchester. They had been arrested in connection 
with a meeting held by Mr. Runciman at Radcliffe, 
and sentenced to one month's imprisonment, with 
hard labour, on October 21st. They had gone into 
prison on the Thursday, and had begun the hunger 
strike at once, and on Friday the doctors and ward- 
resses came to feed them by force. Miss Emily 
Wilding Davison urged that the operation was ille- 
gal, but she was seized and forced down on her bed. 
" The scene which followed," she says, ** will haunt 
me with its horror all my life and is almost inde- 
scribable." Each time it happened she felt she could 
not possibly live through it again. On Monday a 
wardress put her into an empty cell next door to her 
own, and there she found that instead of one plank 
bed there were two. She saw in a flash a way to es- 
cape the torture. She hastily pulled down the two 
• bed boards, and laid them end to end upon the floor, 
one touching the door, the other the opposite wall, 
and, as the door opened inwards, she thus hoped to 
prevent anyone entering. A space of a foot or 
more, however, remained, but she jammed in her 
stool, her shoes, and her hairbrush, and sat down 
holding this wedge firm. Soon the wardress re- 
turned, unlocked the door, aild pushed it sharply, 
but it would not move. Looking through the spy- 
hole she discovered the reason and called, *' Open 
the door," but the prisoner would not budge. After 

OCTOBER, igoQ, TO JANUARY, igio 455 

some threats and coaxing the window of her cell was 
broken, the nozzle of a hose pipe was poked through, 
and the water was turned full upon her. She clung 
to the bedboards with all her strength gasping for 
breath, until a voice called out quickly, " Stop, no 
more, no morCe" She sat there drenched and shiver- 
ing, still crouching on the bedboards, the water six 
inches deep around her. After a time they decided 
to take the heavy iron door off its hinges, and, when 
this was done, a warder rushed in and seized her, 
saying, as he did so, " You ought to be horsewhipped 
for this." Now her clothes were torn off, she was 
wrapped in blankets, put into an invalid's chair, and 
rushed off to the hospital, there to be plunged into 
a hot bath and rubbed down, and then, still gasping 
and shivering miserably, she was put into bed be- 
tween blankets with a hot bottle. At 6 P. M. on 
Thursday she was released. 

Meanwhile, the whole country had heard of the 
incident and an outcry had been raised. A corre- 
spondent wrote that he had seen a hose-pipe played 
on drunken stokers at sea. They were Norwegian 
stokers, the officer would not have dared to do it 
had they been English, but the passengers had in- 
tervened at what they felt to be revolting and un- 
justifiable brutality. The thought of turning that 
fearful force of ice-cold water upon a woman al- 
ready weak from several days of fasting, was hor- 
rible indeed to anyone who realised what it meant. 

Mr. Gladstone himself admitted that the Visiting 
Committee who had ordered it were guilty of a 
grave error of judgment and ordered the discharge 
of Miss Davison; but later on he addressed a letter 
to the officials of Strangeways Gaol through the 


Prison Commissioners expressing his appreciation 
of the way in which the medical officers had carried 
out their duties and commending ** the efficiency of 
the prison service, the carefulness and good sense 
shown by the staff," and ** the tact, care, humanity 
and firmness " with which the problem of the Suf- 
fragette imprisonments had been " handled by all 

The other Manchester prisoners were obliged to 
complete their sentences, being forcibly fed during 
the whole time. 

At this point the Government had an opportunity 
of learning the view of the electorate as to their 
treatment of the women, for a by-election was now 
taking place in Bermondsey and the Suffragettes 
were, as usual, actively opposing the Government- 
candidate. In order^ that every elector might un- 
derstand as far as possible what forcible feeding 
really meant, a pictorial poster showing the opera- 
tion was displayed throughout the constituency and 
models representing forcible feeding were shown at 
the W. S. P. U. committee rooms. A manifesto 
against the Government was also issued by nine rep- 
resentative men, including Mr. Brailsford, Mr. Nev- 
inson and Dr. Hugh Fenton, which urged the elect- 
ors " in the name of chivalry and humanity as well 
as in the interests of true Liberalism to see to it that 
whatever else may happen at this particular election 
the Government candidate is left at the bottom of 
the poll." The Suffragettes worked, if possible, 
more vigorously than ever, and after the first 
three days of their campaign. Liberal workers came 
to them in despair, saying: "Why have you come 
down to boss our election? " The Suffragettes never 

OCTOBER, igo9, TO JANUARY, 1910 45,7 

go to Liberal meetings at election times, but the 
Liberal speakers were constantly being heckled by 
the men and women of Bermondsey as to the forci- 
ble feeding of the Suffragettes. The Suffragettes 
themselves were greeted with cheers and words of 
encouragement wherever they went. " All the po- 
licemen in this constituency are going to vote for 
you," one of the constables said, and others testified 
that they preferred to keep order at the women's 
meetings than at any other because ** they talked 
sense." In the result the Liberal candidate was de- 
feated and the Liberal poll was reduced by more than 
1,400 votes. The figures were: 

Mr. Dumfries, Unionist 4,278 

Mr. Spencer Leigh, Hugh, Liberal 3,291 

Dr. Salter, Socialist i,435 

Unionist majority 987 

The figures at the last election had been : 

George J. Cooper, Liberal 4,775 

H. J. Cockayne Cust, Conservative. 3, 01 6 

Liberal majority i,759 

On polling day an unlooked-for, and to the 
Women's Social and Political Union, unwelcome in- 
cident occurred. The Women's Freedom League 
endeavoured to render the election void, because 
they objected to any election being held at which 
women might not vote. The W. S. P. U. were 
against this*, because their policy was to prove 
that the electors were prepared to defeat the Govern- 
ment candidate in order to show their belief in 


Votes for Women. The attempt of the Freedom 
League members to render the election void was car- 
ried out in the following manner. Two members 
of the League, Mrs, Chapin and Miss Allison Neil- 
ans, each entered a separate polling booth with a 
glass test tube filled with a solution of ink and photo- 
graphic chemicals which had been carefully prepared 
to destroy the ballot papers without any risk of in- 
jury to any person who might happen to touch it. 
In each case the woman concerned broke the test 
tube by striking it on top of the ballot box so that 
the black liquid might fall into the slot. When this 
was done by Mrs. Chapin a Mr. Thorley rushed 
forward, and some of the black liquid splashed into 
his eye. In Miss Neilans' case a man stretched out 
his hand and some of the liquid fell upon it. In 
both cases the men ^sked if the stuff would burn, 
and were told it would do no harm if it were washed 
off at once. Miss Neilans' own hands and gloves 
were soaked with the fluid, but she suffered no harm. 
Only five papers were touched by the fluid and none 
of these were indecipherable. 

A great outcry was raised, however, for it was 
declared that Mr. Thorley would be blind for life. 
For some time he went out wearing a black shade 
over his eye, but when he was called upon un- 
expectedly by some members of the Women's Free- 
dom League, he was found to be without the 
shade and his eye appeared perfectly normal. The 
cases hung over for some time and eventually, 
on November 24th, Mrs. Chapin was sentenced 
to three months' imprisonment for interfering with 
the ballot box and four months for a common 
assault upon Mr. Thorley, the sentences to run 

OCTOBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 1910 459 

concurrently; whilst Miss Neilans was ordered 
three months' imprisonment. After a time it leaked 
out that the slight injury from which Mr. Thorley 
had suffered, had been caused, not by the liquid 
which Mrs. Chapin had thrown, but by some am- 
monia which he had used to counteract any after- 
effects. Two days after Miss Neilans' release Mrs. 
Chapin was granted the King's Pardon. 

On October 30th Mrs. Leigh was suddenly re- 
leased from Birmingham Gaol, in a very critical 
state, though two months out of the four to which 
she had been sentenced still remained to run. She 
was at once removed to a nursing home. 

November 9th was Lord Mayor's Day, and, as 
usual, the Lord Mayor had invited the Cabinet Min- 
isters to a banquet in the Guild Hall. Knowing 
this. Miss Alice Paul, an American citizen, and Miss 
Amelia Brown disguised themselves as charwomen, 
and, carrying buckets and brushes, entered the build- 
ing with the other cleaners at nine o'clock in the 
morning. There they hid themselves and waited 
until the evening, when they took their stand in the 
gallery outside the Banqueting Hall. When Mr. 
Asquith was about to speak. Miss Brown, having 
carefully selected a pane of the stained glass window 
upon which there was no ornament, and which she 
thought might be easily replaced, stooped down, took 
off her shoe and smashed the chosen pane in order 
that her shout of ** Votes for Women " might be 
heard by those below. Miss Alice Paul also took 
up the cry. Both women were arrested and after- 
wards sent to prison for one month's hard labour 
on refusing to pay fines of £5 and damages of £2 
ten shillings each. They were both forcibly fed and 


as a result of this Miss Brown was attacked with 
severe gastritis. 

Three days later, on November 13 th, Mr. Win- 
ston Churchill visited Bristol to speak at the Colston 
Hall. Miss Theresa Garnet, the woman who had 
been twice through the hunger strike, and whom the 
Home Secretary had wrongfully accused of biting, 
resolved to humiliate Mr. Churchill, both as a mem- 
ber of the Government which preferred rather to im- 
prison women than to enfranchise them and to torture 
them rather than to extend towards them the ordi- 
nary privileges of political prisoners ; and also on his 
own account for his slippery and disingenuous state- 
ments in regard to the Votes for Women question. 

She therefore met the train by which he was arriv- 
ing from London and found him on the platform in 
the midst of a large force of detectives who formed 
a semi-circle around him. She rushed straight for- 
ward, and they either did not, or would not, see her 
coming, but the Cabinet Minister saw her, he paled 
and stood there as though petrified, only raising his 
arm to guard himself. She reached him and with a 
light riding switch, struck at him three times, saying, 
" Take that in the name of the insulted women of 
England." At that he grappled with her, wrested 
the switch from her hand, and put it in his pocket. 
Then she was seized and dragged away to prison. 

She was charged with assaulting Mr. Churchill, 
but eventually this charge was withdrawn (presum- 
ably because Mr. Churchill knew that he would be 
subpoenaed as a witness) and, on being accused of 
having disturbed the peace, was sentenced to one 
month's imprisonment on refusing to be bound over. 

Meanwhile 30,000 men and women had turned 

OCTOBER, igog, TO JANUARY, igio 461 

out to help the Suffragettes in their protest around 
the Colston Hall where Mr. Churchill was speaking, 
and during the evening four women were arrested, 
and afterwards punished with from two months' hard 
labour to fourteen days in the second division, whilst 
several men who had spoken up for them inside the 
Colston Hall were beaten unmercifully by the stew- 
ards. Forcible feeding was resorted to in Bristol 
Prison also, and handcuffs were used in some cases. 

Meanwhile the supporters of the Liberal Govern- 
ment were adopting militant tactics on their own ac- 
count. What was called " A League against the 
Lords " had been formed with the warmly expressed 
approval of many of the Liberal leaders, and, though 
the leaders had kept in the background, the members 
of the League had twice assembled in Parliament 
Square to hoot the peers as they drove by in their 
carriages, and had come into collision with the police. 

At the same time the Liberal newspapers were 
openly commending the efforts of gangs of men who 
were going from meeting to meeting held by the Con- 
servatives, and with shouts and violence were making 
it impossible for their political opponents to speak. 
Columns were devoted to describing the doings of 
what was called " The Voice " which persistently 
heckled Tariff Reformers and supporters of the 
House of Lords. 

Mr. Winston Churchill was now arranging to hold 
a campaign of public meetings in Lancashire, and the 
W. S. P. U. publicly and openly appealed for funds 
to insure that protests and. demonstrations should 
be made in connection with all his meetings. Thou- 
sands of pounds were, on the other hand, spent by 
the authorities to defeat the women's intentions. In 


Preston, in addition to many other precautions, sev- 
enty men were employed and £150 spent on barri- 
cading the windows and roof of the Hall where Mr. 
Churchill was to speak, and at Southport £250 was 
laid out on mounted police to protect the Empire 
Music Hall alone. 

When the Southport meeting began Mr. Churchill 
looked ill at ease and turned about sharply from time 
to time as though expecting an interruption. But 
at last he seemed to gain confidence and was proceed- 
ing briskly with his remarks, when^ suddenly, there 
floated down from the roof a soft voice, faint and 
reedy, and peering through one of the great porthole- 
like openings in the slope of the ceiling, was seen a 
strange little elfin form with wan childish face, broad 
brow and big grey eyes, looking like nothing real or 
earthly but a dream waif. But for the weary pale- 
ness of her, she might have been one of those dainty 
little child angels the old Italian painters loved to 
show peeping down from the tops of high clouds or 
nestfing amongst the details of their stately archi- 
tecture. It was Dora Marsden who with two other 
women had lain concealed on the roof since two 
o'clock in the small hours of the previous morning. 
So unexpected and pathetic was this little figure that 
leant further forward to repeat her message that the 
audience could not forbear to cheer her. They stood 
up, waving their hats and programmes, " looking de- 
lighted," as the loftily placed intruder herself ob- 
served. Mrs. Churchill smiled also and waved her 
hand and even Mr. Churchill, though this was prob- 
ably because of his wife's presence, and.of the general 
feeling of the audience, himself looked pleasantly up 
and said, "If some stewards will fetch those ladies 

OCTOBER, igog, TO JANUARY, igio 463 

after my speech is concluded, I shall be glad to an- 
swer any questions they may put to me." 

But the stewards, who by this time had found the 
women, were not disposed to bring them into the hall. 
A hand was thrust over Dora Marsden's mouth and 
she and the others were roughly pulled back from 
their coign of vantage, pushed through a window, 
and sent rolling down the steep sloping roof. " Stop 
that, you fools," someone cried out, " you will all 
fall over the edge," but one of the stewards answered, 
" I do not care what happens." Fortunately two of 
the Suffragettes were caught in their perilous descent 
by the edge of a water trough whilst a policeman 
seized Dora Marsden by the ankle, telling her, ** If 
I had not caught your foot, you would have gone to 
glory." Once safely on the ground the women were 
placed under arrest, but the case against them was 
eventually dismissed. 

At Preston, Suffragettes dressed in shawls and 
clogs sallied forth at night and pasted forcible feed- 
ing posters on the street pillar boxes, the prison and 
other public buildings and the windows and doors of 
the Liberal Club, as a welcome to Mr. Churchill, and 
in connection with turbulent scenes which occurred 
whilst his meeting was in progress, four women were 
arrested. At every other town he visited the same 
kind of thing occurred. At Waterloo, there was one 
arrest, at Liverpool there were two, and one at 
Bolton and one at Crewe. 

Meanwhile Mr. Harcourt had held a series of 
meetings in the Rossendale Valley. On December 
1st the door and windows of the house in which he 
was staying were found to have been covered during 
the night with forcible feeding posters. The next 


evening three men were set to watch with large hose- 
pipes attached to the main, but somehow or other 
the connection was mysteriously cut and the windows 
were broken without their being aware of it by some 
person or persons unknown. Two women were ar- 
rested in connection with disturbances on the follow- 
ing Monday, and were sent to prison for one month 
and fourteen days respectively. They both adopted 
the hunger strike, and were both forcibly fed. Two 
women were arrested outside Sir Edward Grey's 
meeting at Leith on December 4th, 1909. 

A general election was now announced and on De- 
cember loth Mr. Asquith was to speak at a great 
meeting in the Albert Hall and whilst the authorities 
were making every attempt to keep them out, the 
Suffragettes were, of course, making every attempt 
to get into the building. Some of them did succeed 
in concealing themselves inside, but were discovered. 
Jessie Kenney, who disguised herself as a telegraph 
boy and tried to get in while the meeting was in 
progress, was also detected and turned back, but three 
men sympathisers protested during the meeting. To 
these Mr. Asquith replied, " Nearly two years ago 
I declared on behalf of the present Government that 
in the event of our bringing in a Reform Bill we 
should make the question of Suffrage for Women an 
open one for the House of Commons to decide. My 
declaration survives the General Election and this 
Cause, so far as the Government is concerned, shall 
be no worse off in the new Parliament than it would 
have been in the old." Thus Mr. Asquith was cheer- 
fully preparing for another general election without 
one word of regret or apology to those women who 
had been misled by his promise to introduce the Re- 

OCTOBER, igoQ, TO JANUARY, igio 465 

form Bill before Parliament came to an end. That 
was almost the last of the old false promise. 

Meanwhile Charlotte Marsh, who had gone into 
Winson Green Gaol with the first batch of prisoners 
to be forcibly fed, was still being detained there, 
whilst Mrs. Leigh and all the rest had been released. 
Those who went to visit her once at the expiration 
of each month were only allowed to look at her 
through a small square of perforated zinc. They 
could neither see her clearly nor hear distinctly what 
she said. Nevertheless they gathered that she was 
suffering greatly. Our hearts ached for that noble 
girl. Often there came before our eyes the picture 
of the tall, straight figure that had carried the colours 
of our Union before us in so many gay processions. 
We saw the fair, fresh face with its delicate regular 
Saxon features, those masses of bright golden hair, 
the head so proudly held, and the faint flicker of a 
shy smile that always came when one spoke to her ; we 
heard the boyish ring in her voice, and realised again 
her earnestness and enthusiasm, and the unaffected 
gentleness of her address. There was always some- 
thing about her that made many a woman think of 
some dear young brother. Her father called her 
" Charlie," and thought of her as his only boy 
amongst a family of girls. 

It was expected that she would have been released 
on December 7th, but the Government who had held 
her in torment for so long were anxious to extort 
from her the very last ounce of their pound of flesh. 
They determined not to grant her the remission of 
one-sixth of the sentence usually allowed, but to with- 
hold it as a punishment for her refusal to take food, 

and they did this though they knew that her father 


was dangerously ill and though her mother had ap- 
pealed for her release on that ground a week before. 
There was no fine that could be laid down to buy her 
out, for she had been sentenced without that option, 
and so perforce she must wait the pleasure of the 
Government. On the 8th of December, it was 
known that Charlotte Marsh's father was dying and 
her family made another urgent appeal that she 
might be brought to him. But it was not until the 
9th that the Home Secretary at last tardily let her 
go. She hurried at once to her home in Newcastle, 
so thin and worn with what she had suffered, that her 
sisters scarcely knew her as she came into the house, 
only to find that her father was unconscious and 
would never wake to know her any more. 


The Appeal of Pankhurst and Haverfield v. Jarvis. 
The Freedom League Pickets. Mrs. Pankhurst 
Returns from America. Mrs. Leigh^s Action 
Against the Home Secretary and the Governor 
and Doctor of Winson Green Gaol, Birmingham. 
Miss Davison's Action Against the Visiting Jus- 
tices of Strangeways Gaol, Manchester. Ill 
Treatment of Miss Selina Martin and Miss Leslie 
Hall at Walton Gaol, Liverpool. Lady Con- 
stance Lytton Imprisoned in Walton Gaol as Jane 

Whilst Mrs. Pankhurst was still in America, the 
case in which she, Mrs. Haverfield and the ninety-two 
other women were concerned, which had been hang- 
ing over since the summer, was heard in the Divi- 
sional Court on December ist. It will be remem- 
bered that the Suffragettes had sought to put into 
practice the constitutional right to petition the Prime 
Minister as the representative of the Government 
and of the King. They held that this right was espe- 
cially defined by two Acts, the Bill of Rights which 
declares that, " It is the right of the subject to peti- 
tion the King and all commitments and prosecutions 
for such petitioning are illegal," and the Statute 13, 
Charles II, which states : 



That no person or persons whatsoevet shall repair to Hid 
Majesty or bdth or either Houses of Parliament upon pre- 
tence of presenting or delivering any petition, complaint, re^ 
monstrance, or declaration or other address, accompanied 
with excessive nuniber of people, nor at any time with above 
the number of ten persons ; upon pain of incurring a penalty 
not exceeding the sum of £ioo in money or three months* 
imprisonment without bail or mainprise for every offence; 
which offerice to be prosecuted at the Court of King's Bench 
or at the Assizes or general quarter sessions within six 
months after the offence committed and proved by two more 
credible witnesses. Provided always that this act or any-, 
thing therein contained shall not be considered to extend 
to debar or hinder any person or persons not exceeding the 
number of ten aforesaid, to present any public or private 
grievance or complaint to any Member or Members of Par- 
liament. . . . 

Though the women had complied with every pro- 
vision of the Act, Sir Albert de Rutzen had decided 
at Bow Street that they had broken the law. In 
appealing against that decision In the Divisional 
Court, Lord Robert Cecil contended that in this coun- 
try there was, and always had been, a right of peti- 
tion and he urged that this right was a necessary 
condition of all free and indeed of all civilised 
Government. He pointed out that the right of peti- 
tion had three characteristics ; in the first place it was 
the right to petition the actual repositories of power ; 
in the second place it was the right to petition in per- 
son, and in the third place it must be exercised reason- 

In support of his contention that petitions might be 
presented in person he quoted several historic in- 
stances including a petition of women to Humphrey, 

DECEMBER, igog, TO JANUARY, igio 469 

Duke of Gloucester in the reign of Henry IV, many 
petitions to various powerful personages from all 
sorts of men and women in the time of the Civil 
Wars and the disputes immediately preceding them; 
and petitions to the Lord High Steward asking for 
the conviction of Strafford. In addition to these he 
cited numbers of petitions presented in 1640, when 
deputations came to the House of Commons and the 
Members were instructed to go out and interview the 
petitioners and hear what they had to say; a great 
petition of 1680 as well as the petitions from the Gen- 
tlemen of Kent in 1701 ; that of the Silkweavers in 
1765 ; and that of the Trade Unionists in 1834; all of 
which were presented in person. Throughout our 
history it was clear, he declared, that petitions had 
been presented, sometimes to the Houses of Parlia- 
ment, sometimes to powerful individuals and some- 
times to the King. He referred to a case mentioned 
in Sir Walter Scott's ** Fortune of Nigel," in which, 
on King James II complaining of the way in which a 
petition was thrust into his hand in the streets, a gen- 
tleman named Jingling Geordie^ had taken the oppor- 
tunity of presenting a petition to him then and there 
in his private closet. 

Even without these historic examples the Statute 
13, Charles II (already quoted) was enough to 
establish the right to present petitions in person. 
The Bill of Rights had specially confirmed the right 
of petition in so far as the King was concerned be- 
cause the right to present a petition to the King had 
recently been called into question by the case of the 
seven Bishops, which had taken place on June 29th 
and 30th, 1688, in the reign of James II. 

The case had arisen because the King had ordered 


that his Declaration of Indulgence should be read In 
all the Churches in the country and the seven Bishops 
headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury being of 
opinion that the Declaration of Indulgence was be- 
yond the power of the King, had therefore presented 
a petition to him setting forth this view. The King 
declared the petition to be a seditious libel, and the 
Bishops had been brought before the Court of King's 
Bench. In summing up the case for the jury, Mr. 
Justice HoUoway said, " So that if there was no ill- 
intent and they were not (as it is not nor can be 
pretended they were) men of evil lives, to deliver a 
petition cannot be a fault, it being the right of every 
subject to petition. The jury found the seven 
Bishops to be guiltless and the right of petition was 
thus confirmed. 

In quoting Mr. Justice* HoUoway's summing up. 
Lord Robert Cecil pointed out that the use of the 
words " to deliver a petition " clearly indicated that 
the right was to present the petition in person. If 
that were so, the women who had gone to Parliament 
Square on June 29 had done so in the exercise of a 
constitutional right. So long as they were denied 
votes, this was their only constitutional method of 
agitation for the redress of their grievances. 

If, as was contended, the right not only to petition, 
but to petition in person, belonged to each and every 
subject, the only point left to consider was as to 
whether the right had been exercised reasonably. If 
one wished to interview the Prime Minister or any 
Member of Parliament it was surely reasonable to go 
to the House of Commons by means of the Strangers' 
Entrance. The evidence clearly showed that Mrs. 
Haverfield and the others had been on the public 

DECEMBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 19 10 471 

highway and had been brought up to the door of the 
House of Commons by Superintendent Isaacs of the 
Police, so that up to that point they could not pos- 
sibly have done anything wrong. Opposite the door 
of the House of Commons an open space had been 
kept clear by the presence of a police cordon, the 
crowd not being allowed to reach this point. Within 
the cordon there were only members of the police 
force, persons who had business in the House of Com- 
mons and the eight members of the Women's depu- 
tation. Therefore it was absurd to say that these 
eight ladies had caused an obstruction. 

It was suggested that the women ought to have 
gone away because, as he put it, " a casual police-, 
man " had said that the Prime Minister was not in 
the House of Commons, but that was really not a 
sufficient answer. The ordinary procedure certainly 
was not to take an answer from a policeman in the 
street if one wished to interview a Member of Parlia- 
ment. The police had no right to stop anyone from 
going into the House of Commons. It was also 
said that the women had been given a letter from the 
Prime Minister saying that he would not or could not 
see them. " Had he said, * I cannot see you here 
and now, but I will see you on such, and such an 
occasion, this is not a convenient time,' that," argued 
Lord Robert, " would have been a sufficient answer, 
because the right to petition must be exercised rea- 
sonably, but his letter contained an unqualified re- 
fusal, and if the right to petition exists, that is no 
answer at all." 

Lord Robert then submitted that if there is a right 
to petition a Member of Parliament there must be a 
duty on the part of a Member of Parliament to re- 


ceive that petition, and that no one is justified in 
interfering with the exercise of that right. If the 
women were legally justified in insisting upon the 
right to present their petition they were also justified 
in refusing the order of the police to go away for 
there wus no obligation to obey the police if the 
police were acting beyond the scope of their proper 
duties or contrary to the law of the land. In the 
case of Codd v. Cave a warrant had been issued 
against a man and a policeman had gone to his house 
to arrest him without taking a warrant with him. 
The man had declined to go with the policeman and 
had knocked him down and injured him severely but 
it had been held by the Court that the man was not 
guilty because the policeman had no right to arrest 
him without a warrant. 

In delivering judgment the Lord Chief Justice 
said that he entirely agreed that there was a right to 
present a petition either to the Prime Minister as 
Prime Minister or as a Member of Parliament, and 
that petitions to the King should be presented to the 
Prime Minister. But he said the claim of the 
women was not only to present a petition but '* to 
be received in deputation." Had it been only to 
present the petition he did not think that Mr. As- 
quith would have refused, and he expressed the opin- 
ion that his refusal to receive the women in deputa- 
tion was not unnatural, '* in consequence of what we 
know did happen on previous occasions." 

In making this remark the Lord Chief Justice 
showed that instead of concentrating his mind upon 
the actual case before him he was allowing himself 
to be biassed by inaccurate reports as to what had 
taken place on previous occasions. As a matter of 

DECEMBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 1910 473 

fact Mr. Asquith never had received a deputation of 
women since he had been Prime Minister and never 
at any time had he received a deputation of the 
Women's Social and Political Union in the House 
of Commons. Therefore it was absurd to talk 
about what had taken place on ** previous occasions," 
and, moreover, even if Mr. Asquith had received 
deputations on previous occasions and trouble had 
resulted, the Lord Chief Justice would have had no 
right to take these occurrences into account unless 
reliable evidence as to what actually had ^occurred 
had been laid before him in connexion with the case. 

Relying on the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839, 
which provides that it shall be lawful for the Com- 
missioner of Police to make regulations and to give 
directions to the constables for keeping order and for 
preventing any obstruction of the thoroughfares in 
the immediate neighbourhood of the House of Com- 
mons and the Sessional Order which empowers the 
Police to keep clear the approaches to the House of 
Commons, the Lord Chief Justice decided that Mrs. 
Pankhurst, Mrs. Haverfield and the other women 
had broken the law when they had insisted that they 
had a right to enter the House of Commons and 
that for this reason they had been properly convicted 
and that the appeal must be dismissed with costs. 

By this decision the Ancient Constitutional right 
of petition secured to the people of this country by 
the Act of 13, Charles II, and the Bill of Rights, 
was, for all practical purposes, reridered null and 
void. What is the use of a right that one may not 
put into practice? Does anyone suppose for one 
moment that the right of petition would have been 
cherished as it has been, and that people would have 


suffered heavy punishment for putting it into prac- 
tice, in troublous times, if it had merely consisted 
in sending a written document obscurely, through 
the post, or by a messenger, to the person in power 
whom it was intended to influence? No, for the 
right could never have been anything but valueless 
had the presentation of the petition not been accom- 
panied by the pomp and circumstance, and the dra- 
matic and spectacular character, of a public deputa- 
tion, and by the influence that only personal pleading 
can lend. Every scrap of evidence tends to show 
that the right of petition was to be exercised per- 
sonally. If it were otherwise why should the Act 
of Charles II have insisted that the signatories to the 
petition should be represented by a limited deputa- 
tion ? Moreover there is no suggestion that a writ- 
ten document was required and that the petition 
might not have been made, as it frequently was, by 
word of mouth. 

Shortly after this case of Pankhurst and Haver- 
field V. Jarvis had been decided the Divisional Court 
was again occupied with an appeal case bearing upon 
the right of petition, this time at the instance of the 
Women's Freedom League. In July the League 
had followed the example of the W. S. P. U. in 
claiming the constitutional right of personal petition 
to the Prime Minister. After much preliminary ne- 
gotiation a deputation of their number had appeared 
at the Strangers' entrance to the House of Com- 
mons on July 5th and on being told that Mr. As- 
quith would not receive them they had announced 
their intention of waiting there until he should 
change his mind. They were allowed to wait and, 
reinforced by relays of others, continued to do so 

DECEMBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 1910 475 

right on into the New Year and were constantly to 
be seen standing outside on the pavement both day 
and night, whenever the House was sitting. Many 
Members of Parliament appealed to Mr. Asquith 
to receive them and so bring their weary vigil to an 
end but he obstinately refused and always evaded 
" the Suffragette pickets," as they were called. Usu- 
ally he left the House by one of the underground 
passages but it was said that one night he hurried 
unrecognised through their lines. Punch then pub- 
lished a cartoon by E. T. Reed, entitled ** Mr. 
Asquith's disguises," showing the Prime Minister as 
a cab driver, a postman, a policeman, an elderly 
maiden lady and in other characters. 

On July 9th, the pickets were also put on at No. 
10 Downing Street, where they succeeded in way- 
laying the Prime Minister at about 2 o'clock in the 
afternoon and ran towards him crying, " A petition! 
A petition! Will you give us a hearing, Mr. As- 
quith?" As he rushed past he snatched the docu- 
ment from one of them, saying, " Well, I will take 
the petition," and then fled on up the steps and 
banged the door. The pickets were still waiting for 
the interview when the police arrived to arrest them. 
They were afterwards sentenced to three weeks' im- 
prisonment in default of paying fines of £3. 

On July 15 th four women again picketted Down- 
ing Street, but were arrested and sent to prison with- 
out even so much as catching a glimpse of the 
Premier. On August i6th a line of women was 
drawn up between the House of Commons and the 
door of 10 Downing Street, where stood Mrs. Cob- 
den Sanderson and Mrs. Despard. This time they 
saw Mr. Asquith, but though some of the women 


spoke to him, he hurried on without making any 
reply. Three days later, on the 19th, the line of 
women was again formed, but Mrs. Despard, Mrs. 
Cobden Sanderson and six others were placed under 
arrest. Mr. Tim Healy, the well-known Irish mem- 
ber of Parliament, was briefed for their defence, but 
on August 27th, Mr. Curtis Bennett decided to fine 
the women forty shillings or to send them to prison 
for seven days. He stated a case for the High Court 
and this was heard on January 14th, 19 10, when the 
Lord Chief Justice decided against the women, say- 
ing that there were other means of presenting peti- 
tions than going in numbers to do so. 

Meanwhile it was announced that the cases against 
the ninety-four women who were concerned with 
Mrs. Pankhurst and Mrs. Haverfield would be with- 
drawn, but at the same time application was made by 
the authorities for the fines recorded against Mrs. 
Pankhurst and Mrs. Haverfield and it was intimated 
that unless these were forthcoming, steps would be 
taken to arrest and imprison them. But immedi- 
ately after this, on Monday, December 6th, an offi- 
cial receipt for the amount of Mrs. Pankhurst's fine 
was sent to Clement's Inn and it was stated that the 
money had been paid by some unknown person.^ 
Two days later Mrs. Pankhurst returned from her 
lecturing tour in the United States and Canada, 
which had been a most triumphant success. 

On December 9th, the action by Mrs. Leigh 
against Mr. Gladstone as Home Secretary, and the 
Governor and Doctor of Winson Green Gaol, which 

1 A few days later the same thing happened in the case of 
Mrs. Haverfield, and later still in regard to the members of the 
Women's Freedom League. 

Jessie Kenney as she tried to gain admittance to Mr. 

Asquith's meeting on Dec. 10, 1909 disguised 

as a telegraph boy 

DECEMBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 1910 477 

was to decide the question of the legality of forcible 
feeding by the prison authorities, was tried before 
the Lord Chief Justice. It was pointed out on Mrs. 
Leigh's behalf that there was no rule or regulation 
to justify forcible feeding. Dr. Ernest Dormer 
Kirby, who had attended her on her release, testified 
that her condition was ** distinctly grave," and that 
she had then weighed no more than six stone six 
pounds. Sir Victor Horsley, Mr. William Hugh 
Fenton, Senior Surgeon at the Chelsea Hospital for 
Women, and Mr. Mansell-MouUin all declared 
forcible feeding by means of the nasal tube to be 
painful, dangerous, injurious to health, and incapable 
of providing adequate nourishment. Dr. Maurice 
Craig, Consulting Physician of Welbach Street, and 
late Senior Assistant Physician at Bethlehem Hos- 
pital, who was called as a witness for the defence 
of Mr. Gladstone and of the officials, said that the 
operation of nasal feeding was ** a simple one on the 
average." He considered it more dangerous to 
leave a patient starving than to overcome resistance. 

Sir Richard Douglas Powell, also called for the 
defence, admitted that he would not willingly resort 
to artificial feeding unless it was ** quite necessary*" 

The Lord Chief Justice said that he should rule 
that it was the duty of the medical officer of the 
prison to take all reasonable steps to preserve Mrs. 
Leigh's life and to prevent her committing suicide. 
The only question he should leave to the jury would 
be whether the governor and doctor had taken the 
right steps. In' his summing-up he assumed through- 
out that the jury must decide against Mrs. Leigh. 
They did as he directed, and she thereupon lost her 


On January 19th, an action was begun by Miss 
Emily Wilding Davison against the visiting justices 
of Strangeways Gaol, Manchester, for having or- 
dered that a hose-pipe should be played upon her. 
Judge Parry said that the use of the hose-pipe was 
both ineffective and unnecessary; that the duty of 
the visiting justices was to prevent any abuse of au- 
thority by the officials of the gaol ; and to report and 
make suggestions. Therefore he held that they 
were not justified in ordering the assault, and decided 
the case in Miss Davison's favour. In assessing the 
damages, however, he said that he should take into 
account the fact that the hose-pipe incident had re- 
sulted in the prisoner's release before the expiration 
of her sentence; had provided her with " * copy ' for 
a vivacious and entertaining account of the affair in 
the Press " ; and had advertised her cause. Under 
these circumstances the damages should be no more 
than forty shillings, a nominal sum. . The costs Which 
were charged against the visiting magistrates were 
however placed on the highest scale because the case 
was held to be one of great importance. 

Meanwhile there was no lack of turbulent scenes 
all over the country. Cabinet Ministers' meetings 
were daily being interrupted both by women who had 
succeeded in concealing themselves and by men who 
urged the question of Votes for Women on their be- 
half. When Mr. Lloyd George spoke at Reading 
two women started up from under the platform, 
during his speech. In the Queen's Hall, London, a 
few days afterwards, a forcible feeding tube was 
suddenly flung at him and he caught it in his hands. 
As the stewards fell upon the man who had thrown 

DECEMBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 19 10 479 

It, Mr. Lloyd George cried, " I do not envy him his 
paid job." 

When speaking in the Louth Town Hall, Mr. 
Lloyd George was referring to the House of Lords 
as an ** unrepresentative chamber " when a voice 
from the roof remarked, ** So is the House of Com- 
mons as far as women are concerned." ** I see some 
rats have got in; let them squeal, it does not mat- 
ter," said the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, 
amidst a terrible uproar. Miss Hudson and Miss 
Bertha Brewster were dragged down from amongst 
the rafters where they had lain concealed for many 
hours. They were taken to the police station, 
charged with infringing the Public Meeting Act, and 
detained in custody from Saturday until Monday, 
both in the same small cell, which contained only one 
narrow prison mattress and some rugs. On Monday 
the magistrate discharged them with a caution, com- 
plimenting them on their pluck. The Government 
was averse to allowing them to be let off so lightly, 
and on Wednesday Miss Brewster was rearrested 
for having broken her cell windows in Walton Gaol, 
Liverpool, in the previous August. She was sen- 
tenced to six weeks' imprisonment, but gave notice 
to appeal against the sentence on the ground that 
she had already been specially punished for this of- 
fence whilst in prison. On January 31st she was 
released in order that she might prosecute the ap- 
peal, and evidently thinking that the case hardly did 
him credit, Mr. Gladstone announced that she would 
not be asked to complete her term of imprisonment. 
The appeal was therefore dropped. 

On December 20th, Mr. Asquith had arranged to 


speak both at Liverpool and Birkenhead, and owing 
to his desire to avoid the Suffragettes, detectives 
smuggled him across the river, amongst the luggage. 
Nevertheless outside the Liberal Club Miss Selina 
Martin and Miss Leslie Hall, who stood in the gut- 
ter, the one disguised as a match girl, and the other 
as an orange seller, spoke to him as he stepped from 
his motor car, and urged upon him the necessity for 
granting the franchise to women. He dashed away 
without answering, and in protest, and by way of 
warning. Miss Selina Martin tossed a ginger beer 
bottle into the empty car which he had left. 

Both women were at once arrested, and were 
afterwards remanded in custody for six days. Bail 
was refused, though Miss Selina Martin promised 
that she and her comrade would refrain from mili- 
tant action until the case should come on.^ The 
women were removed to Walton Gaol, and were 
there treated as though they had been ordinary con- 
victed criminals. They protested by refusing to eat 
just as so many of their comrades had done before 
them. Miss Martin also barricaded her cell, but the 
officials forced their way in, pulled her off the bed and 
flung her on the floor, shaking and striking her un- 
mercifully. Shortly afterwards her cell was visited 
by the deputy medical officer, who ordered that she 
should get up and dress. She explained that she 
had been wet through by the snow storm on the 
previous day and that her clothes were still saturated, 
for no attempt had been made to get them dry, but 
she was forcibly dressed and, with her hands hand- 
cuffed behind her, was dragged to a cold, dark pun- 

1 Miss Martin's promise was reported in the Liverpool Daily 
Post and other papers. 

DECEMBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, igio 481 

ishment cell and flung on the stone floor. She lay 
there in an exhausted state for some hours, being 
unable to rise without the aid of her hands and arms, 
which were still fastened behind her back, until, at 
last, a wardress came in and lifted her onto the bed 
board. The irons were kept on all night. On 
Friday, the third day of her imprisonment. Miss 
Martin was brought up before the visiting magis- 
trates. She protested against the way in which 
she was being treated, pointing out that she was still 
an unconvicted prisoner, but she was told that the 
oflicials were quite justified in all that they might 
do. The same evening several wardresses entered 
her cell and ordered her to go to the doctor's room 
to be forcibly fed. 

" I refused," she says, " and was dragged to the foot of 
the stairs with my hands handcuffed behind. Then I was 
frog-marched, that is to say, carried face downwards by the 
arms and legs to the Doctor's room. After a violent strug- 
gle I was forced into a chair, the handcuffs removed, my 
arms being held by the wardresses, whilst the doctor forcibly 
fed me by that obnoxious instrument, the stomach tube. 
Most unnecessary force was used by the assistant medical of- 
ficer when applying the gag. The operation finished, I 
walked handcuffed to the top of the stairs but refused to 
return to the punishment cell. Then two wardresses caught 
me by the shoulders and dragged me down the steps, an- 
other kicking me from behind. As I reached the bottom 
step they relaxed their hold and I fell on my head. I was 
picked up and carried to the cell." 

Next day she was forcibly fed and afterwards 
again refused to return to the dark cell, but she says, 
" I was seized by a number of wardresses and car- 



rled down the steps, my head being allowed to bump 
several times.'* 

Meanwhile, Miss Leslie Hall had also broken her 
windows and had been placed in a punishment cell 
and kept in handcuffs continuously for three days. 
After two and a half days' fasting she was fed by 
the stomach tube. The doctor had taunted her 
meanwhile, and jokingly told the wardress that she 
was *' mentally sick," and that it was " like stuffing a 
turkey for Christmas." 

On Monday, December 27th, the women were 
again brought into court, when Miss Leslie Hall 
was ordered one month's imprisonment with hard 
labour, and Miss Selina Martin two months. On 
returning to prison both the women refused to wear 
prison dress and recommenced the hunger strike. 
Each one was then clothed in a straight jacket and 
placed in a punishment cell. Forcible feeding was 
continued and they both grew rapidly weaker until 
February 3rd, when they were released. 

Meanwhile the facts as to their treatment whilst 
imprisoned on remand had been widely circulated, 
for they had dictated statements for their friends' 
use whilst their trial was being conducted. Mr. 
Gladstone wrote to the Times denying the truth of 
the statements, declaring that the reason for refusing 
bail to the women was that they had refused to prom- 
ise to be of good behaviour until their trial came on, 
that no unnecessary violence had been used and that 
the women themselves had made no complaint. But 
indeed, the inaccuracy of Mr. Gladstone's statements 
had become proverbial, for he was constantly deny- 
ing the truth of charges which were clearly sub- 
stantiated by the most reliable evidence. 

DECEMBER, igog, TO JANUARY, igio 483 

Now Lady Constance Lytton, in spite of her frag- 
ile constitution and the disease from which she suf- 
fered, again determined to place herself beside the 
women in the fighting ranks who were enduring the 
greatest hardship. Believing that she had been re- 
leased from Newcastle prison on account of her rank, 
and family influence, she determined that this time 
she would go disguised. She knew that, not only 
her family, but the leaders of the militant movement 
would try to dissuade her on account of her health. 
She, therefore, decided to speak of her intention to 
no one except Mrs. Baines and a few local workers 
whom she pledged to secrecy. On January 14th, 
she and Mrs. Baines organised a procession to 
Walton Gaol. A halt was called opposite the 
prison, and, having told the story of what was hap- 
pening inside Lady Constance called the people to 
follow her to its gates, and demand the release of 
the tortured women. Then she moved forward 
and, as she had foreseen, she was immediately placed 
under arrest. At the same time Elsie Howey 
dashed into the prison yard and broke one of the 
windows of the Governor's house by striking it with 
a purple-white-and-green flag. She, too, was taken 
into custody and, bail being refused, the two com- 
rades passed the night in the cells. Lady Constance 
had disguised herself by cutting her hair, wearing 
spectacles, and dressing herself in poor and plain 
garments, and now she gave Jane Warton, seam- 
stress, as her name and occupation. Next morning 
she was sentenced to fourteen days' hard labour with- 
out the option of a fine, whilst Elsie Howey was sent 
to prison for six weeks' hard labour. Then they 
were dragged ruthlessly away to the torture which 


they well knew was to come. On arriving at the 
prison, on Saturday, January 15th, they made the 
usual claim to be treated as political prisoners, and, 
on this being refused, signified their intention of 
refusing to conform to any of the prison rules. 
Thereupon they were forcibly stripped by the ward- 
resses and dressed in the prison clothes. At five 
o'clock, on Tuesday, the doctor entered Lady Con- 
stance Lytton's cell with four wardresses and the 
forcible feeding apparatus. Then, without testing 
her heart or feeling her pulse, though she. had not 
been medically examined since entering the prison, 
he ordered that she should be placed in position. 
She did not resist, but lay down on the bed board 
voluntarily, well knowing that she would need all 
her strength for the ordeal that was to come. Her 
poor heart was palpitating wildly, but she set her 
teeth and tried to calm herself. The doctor then 
produced a wooden and a steel gag and told her 
that he would not use the latter, which would hurt, 
unless she resisted him ; but, as she would not unlock 
her teeth, he threw the milder wooden instrument 
aside and pried her mouth open with the steel one. 
Then the stomach tube was forced down and the 
whole hateful feeding business was gone through. 
" The reality surpassed all that I had anticipated," 
she said. ** It was a living nightmare of pain, hor- 
ror and revolting degradation. The sense is of 
being strangled, suffocated by the thrust down of the 
large rubber tube, which arouses great irritation in 
the throat and nausea in the stomach. The anguish 
and effort of retching whilst the tube is forcibly 
pressed back into the stomach and the natural writh- 
ing of the body restrained, defy description. I for- 

DECEMBER, igog, TO JANUARY, 1910 485 

got what I was in there for, I forgot women, I forgot 
everything, except my own sufferings, and I was com- 
pletely overcome by them." The doctor, annoyed 
by her one effort to resist, affected to consider her 
distress assumed, and struck her contemptuously on 
the cheek as he rose to leave, but the wardresses 
showed pity for her weakness, and they helped her 
to wipe her clothes, over which she had been sick. 
They promised to bring her others in the morning, 
but she was obliged to pass the night as she was, 
for, owing both to the low temperature of the cell 
and her own lack of vitality, she was always so cold 
that she wore her nightdress and all her clothes both 
night and day; even then her limbs remained stiff 
with cold, and though, at last, as a special favour, 
she was allowed first one, and then another extra 
blanket and the cape which the prisoners wear at 
exercise, she remained cold, for she says, " It was 
like clothing a stone to warm it." When she was 
fed the second time the vomiting was more excessive 
and the doctor's clothes suffered. He was angry 
and left her cell hastily, saying, " You did that on 
purpose. If you do it again to-morrow I shall feed 
you twice." 

How very much easier would it have been to have 
given in or never to have started .this resistance? 
How very much more natural to this gentle creature 
whose whole life had been one of affectionate defer- 
ence to the wishes of others, who, because of her 
kindly sweetness had been named by her family 
" Angel Con," would it have been to save others 
trouble and quietly to submit to the discomforts of 
prison life. But where principles were in question, 
none could be stronger or firmer than Constance 


Lytton, and she was determined to go on with the 
bitter thing until the end. Yet, through it all, her 
gentle nature was apparent. She could not bear 
that any of the ordinary prisoners should be brought 
in to clean up the mess on her cell floor and, except 
upon one or two occasions she always managed to 
do it for herself in spite of her weakness and distress. 
Notwithstanding his brutal rudeness to her, she even 
tried to wipe the doctor's clothes, if anything was 
spilt upon them. For the sake of the other prison- 
ers she tried, too, to help him with his hateful task 
by making suggestions to him as to how it might be 
rendered more efficacious and some of its horrors 
mitigated, but her suggestions were contemptuously 
disregarded. The third time she was fed she vom- 
ited continuously, but the doctor kept pouring in 
more food until she was seized with a violent fit of 
shivering. Then he became alarmed. He hastily 
told the wardresses to lay her on the floor and called 
in his assistant to test her heart, but, after a brief 
and superficial investigation, it was pronounced 
** quite sound ** and the pulse " steady." Next time 
he appeared he pleaded with her, saying, " I do beg 
of you, I appeal to you, not. as a prison doctor, but 
as a man, to give over. You are a delicate woman, 
you are not fit for this sort of thing.'* " Is anybody 
fit for it? " she answered. " I beg of you, I appeal 
to you, not as a prisoner, but as a woman, to refuse 
to continue this inhuman treatment." 

From Wednesday, January 19th, and onwards, 
she began to find that not only did she receive 
greater consideration from the doctor, but that there 
was a marked change in her treatment generally. 
This led her to conclude that her identity had been 

DECEMBER, 1909, TO JANUARY, 19 10 487 

discovered or at least suspected, and she therefore 
tried to take advantage of whatever privileges might 
be niade to her in order to secure concessions for her 
comrades and to induce the officials to act with more 
humanity. But, though she considered that she had 
been treated with more kindness than was usual, we 
learn that obvious simple necessities were denied her. 
The processes of digestion were entirely stagnant and 
she was losing weight daily, and though she made sev- 
eral suggestions as to remedies and at last an aperient 
drug was promised to her, it was never supplied. 
She was right, however, in thinking that her identity 
had been discovered. On Friday the authorities 
made up their minds that she was not Jane Warton, 
and on Sunday morning both the governor and doc- 
tor appeared and told her that she was to be released 
and that her sister had come to fetch her. 

Lady Constance Lytton now sent a careful state- 
ment to Mr. Gladstone asserting that the forcible 
feeding was performed with unnecessary cruelty and 
without proper care. He declared that all her 
charges were unfounded, and the visiting magistrates, 
having held a one-sided enquiry into the matter, an- 
nounced that the regulations had been carried out 
with the greatest care and consideration. 



The General Election, The Truce, The Concilia- 
tion Committee, a Series of Great Demonstrations. 
War is Again Declared. Another General Elec- 
tion. Conclusion. 

With the opening of the new year, 19 10, whilst 
many of the women were still in prison, the General 
Election began. The Women's Social and Political 
Union fought the Government in forty constituen- 
cies. In almost every one of these contests the Lib- 
eral vote was reduced, and eighteen of the seats, 
which had been held by Government representatives 
at the dissolution, were wrested from them. During 
the election the Liberal Government's absolute ma- 
jority over all sections of*the House had been swept 
away, and they were now dependent for their exist- 
ence upon the votes of the Labour and Irish parties. 

The Suffragettes were now advised in many quar- 
ters that the militant tactics had forced the Govern- 
ment to the point of wishing to gain peace by 
granting votes to women, but that Cabinet Ministers 
were now afraid to do so lest they should seem to have 
given way to coercion. The contest for supreme 
power in the new Parliament being over, the women 
therefore decided to give the re-elected Govern- 
ment and the Parliamentary, supporters of Women's 
Suffrage a quiet opportunity to settle the matter be- 


igio 489 

tween them. On February 14th, the W. S. P. U. 
proclaimed a truce, and the Women's Freedom 
League followed suit. 

During the past year more than twenty thousand 
meetings had been held by the W. S. P. U. alone, 
in addition to the many thousands organised by 
the other suffrage societies. Now that militancy was 
to be laid aside a period of even greater effort in 
the direction of building up the organisation and 
extending the purely educational work was to be en- 
tered upon. 

Important developments were also to take place 
within Parliament itself. For many years a com- 
mittee of Parliamentary supporters of Women's 
Suffrage, had existed. This was originally inaugu- 
rated on June loth, 1887, under the influence of 
Miss Lydia Becker. It was strictly non-party, 
Members from all sections of the House having be- 
longed to it. During the Parliament elected in 1906, 
however, the old committee had been allowed to 
lapse. The Liberal supporters of the question 
formed a Women's Suffrage Committee of their own, 
and, abandoning the attempt to secure votes for 
women, and seeking instead to extend the franchise 
all around, they had put forward Mr. Geoffrey 
Howard's Reform Bill, which had had no chance 
of being carried. 

Now, largely owing to the efforts of Mr. H. N. 
Braitsford, a " Conciliation Committee " was formed 
with the object of uniting all sections of opinion 
favourable to women's enfranchisement and of com- 
ing ta a common agreement upon some particular 
measure./ The Earl of Lytton acted as Chairman 
of this Committee and Mr. Braitsford, himself, as 


Secretary. Its members consisted of twenty-five 
Liberals, seventeen Conservatives, six Irish Nation- 
alists, and six members of the Labour Party. In 
discussing the terms of the Bill to be adopted, the 
Unionist members urged that it should be moderate, 
whilst the Liberals insisted that it must give no 
loophole for increasing the possibilities of plural 
voting or of adding to the power of the propertied 
classes. Though the majority of the women who 
attend the English Universities do so as a prepara- 
tion for earning their livelihood, the Liberals did 
not wish to see the Franchise for University grad- 
uates, which is exercised by men, extended to women 
because, as they said, the poorest women do not 
graduate. For similar reasons they opposed the 
granting of votes to women under the Joint House- 
hold qualification, which applies only to houses 
rented at twenty pounds a year and upwards ; under 
the Lodger franchise, which applies only to those 
who pay at least four shillings a week for an un- 
furnished room ; and under the Ownership franchise. 
To overcome the objections of the self-styled demo- 
crats, the old Women's Enfranchisement Bill which 
would have given bare justice to women by extend- 
ing the Parliamentary vote to them on equal terms 
with men was therefore abandoned, and a measure 
was drafted on the lines of the existing Municipal 
Franchise of which the basis is occupation and under 
which there is no qualification for Owners, Lodgers 
or Graduates. 

Local Government was the earliest form of gov- 
ernment in this country; it has been the most per- 
sistent and staple. Government from the centre was 
of later growth, and has many times been inter- 

igio 491 

rupted. The Municipal Franchise as it exists to-day 
Is chiefly dependent on the Municipal Corpora- 
tions Acts of 1835 and 1839. Before the passing 
of the first of these Acts women possessed and ex- 
ercised equal voting rights with men in regard to 
matters of local Government, but the act of 1835 
deprived them of these rights in all towns incor- 
porated under it. In 1865, however, Women's 
Suffrage societies, demanding the admission of women 
to both national and local franchises, sprang into 
being, and when the Municipal Corporation's Act 
of 1869 was before Parliament, Mr. Jacob Bright 
succeeded in carrying an amendment to restore to 
women the rights of which the Act of 1835 had 
deprived them. It was a Liberal Government that 
framed and carried the Municipal Corporation's Act 
of 1869, and that Government accepted the amend- 
ment to extend its provisions to women. There 
was no suggestion then, nor has any since been made, 
that that franchise, when exercised either by men or 
women, is undemocratic when applied to municipal 

Therefore, following the lines of the existing 
municipal franchise, the Conciliation Committee pro- 
posed to extend the Parliamentary vote to women 
householders and to women occupiers of business 
premises paying ten pounds a year and upwards. 
It was estimated that ninety-five per cent, of the 
women who would be enfranchised under this 
Conciliation Bill would be householders. To the 
householder franchise no monetary qualification 
whatsoever is attached, and every one who inhabits 
even a single room over which he or she has full 
control is counted as a householder. 


As soon as this bill had been decided upon by the 
members of Parliament, who formed the Conciliation 
Committee, it was submitted to the various suffrage 
and other women's organisations, with a request to 
adopt it. Many of the societies, including the 
militants, at first demurred on the ground that though 
the number of women enfranchised would not differ 
greatly, the principle of equality between men and 
women, which the Women's Enfranchisement Bill 
had laid down, would be sacrificed by the new 
measure. Mr. Braitsford and others urged, how- 
ever, that the Conciliation Bill was the only one to 
which the various sections in the House who sup- 
ported Women's Suffrage would agree. They also 
pointed out that, as the women whom it was pro- 
posed to enfranchise were already upon the Munici- 
pal Register, no difficulty would be experienced in 
adding the lists of their names to the Parliamentary 
Register also before the next General Election, even 
should this take place within the year. Therefore, 
on condition that it should be passed during the 
session, all the various women's organisations worked 
wholeheartedly for the measure. 

On June 1 8 the W. S. P. U. organised in support 
of the Conciliation Bill a greater procession of 
women than had ever yet been held, in which jmned 
numbers of organisations, both national and inter- 
national. Headed by a company of six hundred and 
seventeen women in white dresses carrying long 
gleaming silver staves tipped with broad arrows, 
each representing an imprisonment, the massed ranks 
with their gay banners took more than an hour and 
a half to pass a given point. The Great Albert 

igio 493 

Hall was able to contain but a section of die 

No place for Women's Suffrage had been obtained 
in the private Members' ballot. The Conciliation 
Bill had been drafted in the hope that the Govern- 
ment would provide time for its discussion, and five 
days after the great procession, the Prime Minister, 
in reply to an influentially signed petition of Mem- 
bers of Parliament, promised to give facilities for 
the second reading of the Bill. At the same time 
he stated that he could not provide an early date 
for this, but, just as the militant forces were pre- 
paring for action, he agreed to fix Monday and 
Tuesday, July the nth and 12th, for the discussion 
of the Bill. 

The object of the Conciliation Bill's promoters 
was, of course, not merely to secure the passage of 
the second reading by a substantial majority, but 
also that it should be sent for discussion to one of 
the standing committees instead of being referred to 
a Committee of the whole House; because, if the 
latter course were pursued no further progress could 
be made unless the Government were prepared to 
provide more time. 

As usual the attitude of the Government was anx- 
iously awaited. It was rumoured that Mr. Lloyd 
George would speak in opposition to the bill, but 
those who believed his professions of friendship for 
the women's cause hoped against hope that he would 
not do so. Mr. Winston Churchill had been several 
times in conference with the officials of the Con- 
ciliation Committee and had expressed sympathy 
with their object. They counted confidently upon 


his help. It is true that some days before the de- 
bate, they had received a letter from him criticising 
the terms of the Bill, but they still regarded him 
as a friend to the measure. Nevertheless early in 
the second days' debate he rose to make a bitter and 
uncompromising attack upon it. He began by seek- 
ing to prove that the grievance of excluding women 
from the franchise was greatly exaggerated, that 
they did not suffer any legislative disability there- 
from, and that neither the mass of the women 
themselves nor of the male electorate desired the 
enfranchisement of women. He went on to speak 
vaguely of the danger of creating " a vast body of 
privileged and dependent voters who might be 
manipulated, manoeuvred in this division or in 
that." Then, having elaborately striven to build 
up a case against the granting of votes to women 
on any terms, he proceeded with an air of consid- 
erable magnanimity to admit that a slight grievance 
existed because all women were disfranchised. He 
was of the opinion that this grievance could only 
be redressed in one or two ways; either by giving 
the vote " to some of the best women of all classes " 
or by giving the vote to every woman. The former 
method he described as " the first way," and he said, 
" I always hoped the Conciliation Committee would 
travel along that road." In particularising his 
favourite method of proceeding by means of his 
proposed special franchises he admitted that no 
doubt these would be '* disrespectfully called * fancy 
franchises,' " and explained that they would give the 
vote to " a comparatively small number of women 
of all classes on considerations " of /* property," 
** earning capacity " or " education." These special 

igio 495 

franchises would, he said, " be fairly balanced, one 
against the other, so as not on the whole to give an 
undue advantage to the property vote as against the 
wage earning vote." " That," he said, " would not 
be a Democratic proposal . . . "It would pro- 
vide for the representation of the sex through the 
strongest, most capable and most responsible women 
in every class and that would meet the main griev- 
ance in my humble judgment." 

Thus the loudly professing democrat, Mr. 
Churchill, proposed to enfranchise only those women 
whom the members of the Conciliation Committee, 
in the earnest and patient effort to comply with Mr. 
Asquith's proviso that their Bill must be democratic, 
had gradually weeded out. They had excluded the 
property owners as such in favor of their poorer 
sisters, the graduates, because only the comfortably 
circumstanced can go to college, and the lodgers, be- 
cause the majority of women wage earners, to the 
shame of our country, cannot afford to pay four 
shilling a week for their rooms. These three 
classes, the women who own property, those who 
have graduated at college and those who earn com- 
paratively high wages, were surely those whom Mr. 
Churchill had intended to indicate. The women 
had agreed to their exclusion because, as compared 
with the householders, their numbers were small. 
This was the very reason for which Mr. Churchill 
had selected them for inclusion, for he described 
the Conciliation Bill as " an enormous addition to 
the Franchise," though it would only enfranchise one 
million women as against seven million men. 

He went on to attack the terms of the Concilia- 
tion Bill describing it as " anti-Democrat," and de- 


daring that it gave representation to property as 
against persons. " The more I study the Bill," he 
said, " the more astonished I am that such a large 
number of respected Members of Parliament should 
have found it possible to put their names to it." 
He complained that the bulk of married women 
would not be able to qualify, but that a man who 
owned a house and stable would be able to qualify 
his wife for the former and himself for the latter, 
as though that would not also be the case under his 
own propose,d " fancy franchises." He asserted 
that the young inexperienced girl of twenty-one 
would be enfranchised under the Conciliation Bill, 
whilst " the woman who keeps by her labour an 
invalid husband and his family " would get no vote. 
Yet in practice we all know that girls of twenty- 
one are not usually qualified either as householders 
or occupiers, and in justice, and let us hope in its 
practice also, the woman who works to maintain 
her husband and family, is counted as the responsi- 
ble householder and would vote instead of the hus- 
band she maintains. 

He ended with a final appeal to Members to vote 
against the Bill, saying that a vote on the Second 
Reading of this Bill was equivalent to that on the 
Third Reading of any other, and that those who cast 
their votes for it, should be able to say, " I want 
this Bill passed into law this session regardless of 
all other consequences. I want it as it is; and I 
want it now." 

Mr. Asquith spoke against the principle of 
iWomen's enfranchisement in general, and against 
the Conciliation Bill in particular. He began by 
saying that a franchise measure ought not to be sent 

19 10 497 


to a standing committee but to one of the Whole 
House. He declared also that his conditions that 
proof must be shown that the majority of the women 
desired any proposed measures for their enfranchise- 
ment and that the measure should be democratic in 
its character, had not been complied with. 

Towards the end of the debate Mr. Lloyd George 
also threw the weight of his influence into the scale 
against the Bill. He stated that he agreed with 
every word both relevant and irrelevant that had 
been uttered by Mr. Churchill. Nevertheless he re- 
frained from depreciating the abstract principle of 
Women's Suffrage as the Home Secretary had done, 
and directed his attack wholly against the terms of 
the Bill. In defiance of the fact he persistently de- 
clared that the Conciliation Committee which had 
drafted the Bill was " a committee of women meet- 
ing outside the House," and that they had come to 
the House saying, " not merely must you vote for 
Women's Suffrage, but you must vote for the par- 
ticular form upon which we agree, and we will not 
even allow you to deliberate upon any other form." 
He said that this was a position which " no self- 
respecting legislature could possibly accept; " yet 
the Government had all the Parliamentary year at 
their disposal to introduce what measures they chose, 
and for years and years the women had been call- 
ing upon them to formulate a Women's Suffrage 
measure of their own. It had been urged, he said, 
that this Bill was better than none at all. 

" Why should that be the alternative? " he asked. 
But when a member called out, " What is the 
Other ? " he answered evasively, " Well I cannot 
say for the moment; but allow me, I am trying to 



concentrate for the sake of others who desire to fol- 
low me in this debate.'* 

Later he said: "If the proriioters of this Bill 
say that they regard the Second Reading merely 
as an affirmation of the principle of Women's 
Suffrage, and if they promise that when they rein- 
troduce the Bill it will be in a form which will 
enable the House of Commons to move any Amend- 
ment either for restriction or for extension I shall 
be happy to vote for this Bill." 

"Will the Government give time?" asked Mr. 
Roch, a Liberal member, but the only answer was: 
" That is a question for the Prime Minister." 

Mr. Snowden, winding up the debate for the pro- 
motefs of the Bill, replied to Mr. Lloyd George's 
challenge. He said: "We will withdraw this 
Bill, if the Right Hon. gentleman on behalf of the 
Government or the Prime Minister himself, will 
undertake to give to this House the opportunity of 
discussing and carrying through its various stages 
another form of franchise Bill. If we cannot get 
that, then we shall prosecute this Bill." Mr. Lloyd 
George and the other members of the Government 
sat silent. They well knew the difficulties under 
which the Conciliation Committee laboured, and 
they knew, too, that the women were striving at great 
cost and sacrifice to obtain for their sex the largest 
possible measure of representation; but with the 
power to speedily bring the matter to a satisfactory 
conclusion, they preferred to hamper the efforts of 
both with obstructive criticism. As Mr. Snowden 
aptly put it : 

" It would pass the wit of man to put that prin- 
ciple into a Bill which would meet with the approval 

IQIO 499 

of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Home 

Mr. Balfour, Mr. Haldane, and Mr. Runciman 
were amongst those who spoke in support of the 
Bill, but the two Ministers urged that it should not 
be allowed to pass to one of the standing Com- 

After thirty-nine speeches had been delivered the 
division was taken. The Second Reading was then 
found to have been carried by 299 votes to 190, 
giving a favourable majority of 109, a majority 
larger than that cast during the Parliament for any 
measure and even for the Government's vaunted 
Budget and House of Lords Resolutions. 

A division was next taken on a resolution to refer 
the Bill to a Committee of the Whole House. The 
Anti-Suffragists, in the hope of shelving the Bill, 
those who feared to anger the government and those 
who genuinely believed that so important a measure 
should be considered by the Whole House in each 
of its stages combined to carry this resolution by 
320 votes to 175. 

The question was now whether the Government 
would allow the few days necessary for the Com- 
mittee and other final stages. Practically all other 
important legislative work was hanging fire because 
of the deadlock in regard to the House of Lords 
controversy. The Conference between the leaders 
of the Conservative and Liberal parties, which, after 
King Edward's death, had been set up to discuss 
this matter, was still sitting and until its delibera- 
tions were at end no progress towards a settlement 
would be made. Therefore for the moment Par- 
liament had plenty of time on its hands, and urgent 


pressure was brought upon the Government to give 
out of this abundance to the Women's Bill. 

On July 17th the Men's Political Union for 
Women's Suffrage, the Men's League for Women's 
Suffrage and the Conciliation Committee held a joint 
meeting in Hyde Park, in support of the Bill. On 
July 23rd, the Anniversary of the day in 1867 on 
which the pulling down of the Hyde Park Railings 
won the vote for the working men in the towns, 
the Women's Social and Political Union held an- 
other great demonstration there for which a space 
of half a square mile was specially cleared. There 
were forty platforms, many societies co-operated 
and two fine processions — one from the East and 
the other from the West — marched to the meeting. 
The older Suffragists had also demonstrated in 
Trafalgar Square, but on the very day of the 
W. S. P. U.'s big Hyde Park meeting the Prime 
Minister wrote to Lord Lytton refusing to allow 
any further time for the Bill that session. 

But Parliament was to meet again in the Autumn. 
It was still hoped that the Government might con- 
cede the time then. Resolutions urging them to do 
so were sent in from numbers of popularly elected 
bodies including the Corporations of Manchester, 
Liverpool, Bradford, Nottingham, Glasgow, Dun- 
dee, Dublin, Cork, and thirty others. 

There were signs that the truce of the militants, 
which had lasted for nine months, would soon be 
at an end. This time It was men friends to the 
cause who gave the first warning. On October 17th 
young Mr. Victor Duval, now secretary of the Men's 
Political Union for Women's Suffrage was arrested 
for seizing Mr. Lloyd George by the lapel of his 

igio 501 


coat and rebuking him for his hostility to the 
Women's Bill as he passed into the City Temple 
where he was to speak. Mr. George Jacobs, an 
elderly man saw that the police were treating Duval 
roughly and called out to them, " Do not hurt him." 
*He also was arrested and both men were imprisoned 
for a week. 

Mr. Lloyd George had been speaking against the 
Conciliation Bill in Wales, and numbers of Welsh 
women Liberals plainly showed their disapproval 
of his action. The women constituents of several 
other Cabinet Ministers were pressing to be received 
in deputation, and in view of the General Election 
they could scarcely be denied. On October 27th, 
Mr. Asquith consented to see the women of East 
Fife. He told them that facilities could not be 
granted before the close of the year and even when 
asked what of next year he merely answered, " Wait 
and see." Other Ministers seconded him. They 
were all agreed in refusing to allow the Bill to pass 
into law that year. 

Therefore at a great meeting in the Albert Hall 
on November loth the truce broke — war was once 
more declared. Mrs. Pankhurst announced that 
another deputation would march to the House of 
Commons to carry a petition to the Prime Minister. 
She herself would lead the deputation, " If I were 
to go alone," she said, " still I would go," but at 
that hundreds of women's voices cried out from all 
parts of the Hall : " Mrs. Pankhurst, I will go 
with you," "I will gol" "I will go!" Then 
Mrs. Pethick Lawrence called for funds for the 
campaign, and nine thousand pounds was imme- 
diately subscribed. 


The Autumn Session lasted but a few days, for 
on November i8, Mr. Asqulth announced that Par- 
liament would be dissolved on November 28th, and 
that a general election would take place. Even 
whilst he spoke, the women, — 450 of them, divided 
into companies of less than twelve to keep within 
the law, — were marching from the Caxton Hall 
and Clement's Inn. Mrs. Pankhurst, Dr. Garrett 
Anderson, founder of Girton College and one of the 
medical women pioneers now over seventy years of 
age, Mrs. Hertha Ayrton, the scientist, Mrs. Cobden 
Sanderson, and Miss Neligan and Mrs. Bracken- 
bury, both of whom had reached the great age of 
seventy-eight, were amongst the first little band. 
They soon learnt that the Prime Minister had re- 
fused to see them. Some of their number were' 
hurled back into the crowd. The remainder were 
kept standing on the porch for hours with the shut 
door before them and a surging crowd behind. 

The companies of women who came after were 
torn apart, felled to the ground, struck again and 
again, bruised and battered, and tossed hither and 
thither with a violence that perhaps excelled any- 
thing that had gone before. One hundred and fif- 
teen women and four men were eventually arrested. 
But the full story of that day's happenings belongs 
to another, and, let us hope, to the last chapter of 
this long fight. 

Meanwhile the Prime Minister forgot to reply 
to Mr. Keir Hardie's question as to the fate of 
the Conciliation Bill. Lord Balcarries then moved 
a resolution which was practically a vote of censure 
upon the Government for their treatment of the 
women. Fifty-two Members voted for it, but it 

tgio 503 

was lost. Eventually Mr. Lloyd George said the 
Prime Minister would make a statement on the fol- 
lowing Tuesday. 

Tuesday saw the Women's Parliament again in 
Session and the women waiting eagerly for the news. 
Mr. Asquith said: *' The government will, if they 
are still in power, give facilities in the next Parlia- 
ment for effectively proceeding with a Bill which is 
so framed as to admit of free amendment." He re- 
fused, however, to promise that this should be done 
during the first year of the New Parliament. 

Facilities for the Conciliation Bill had been asked 
for; the reply that facilities would be given to a 
Bill so framed as to admit of free amendment was 
too vague to please the women. But the refusal to 
grant an opportunity for passing a Suffrage Bill into 
law during the first year of Parliament was more 
serious. The Parliament now to be dissolved had 
lasted less than a year. Who could insure a longer 
life for its successor? Mr. Asquith had given the 
women scant reason to trust any vague promises of 

Therefore Mrs. Pankhurst announced to the 
women, *' I am going to Downing Street. Come 
along, all of you;" and the women went. The 
police, however, gradually beat them back, and over 
a hundred arrests were made. On Wednesday, 
there were eighteen further arrests, and twenty-nine 
more on Thursday. Many of the women were dis- 
charged, but seventy-five received sentences of im- 
prisonment varying from fourteen days to one month. 

Then came the general election, and again the 
Suffragettes strenuously opposed the Government. 
In almost every constituency fought by them the 


Liberal vote was reduced. A notable instance was 
that of Cardiff, where a Liberal majority of 1555 
was converted into a Conservative majority of 299. 
Here the 800 members of the Women's Liberal 
Association abstained from working for their party 
because its candidate, Sir Clarendon Hyde, was op- 
posed to votes for women. The end of the election 
saw the Liberal government still in power. 

During the year the Women's Suffrage societies 
had all grown largely. The Women's Social and 
Political Union's salaried staff now stands at iia 
persons. Its central offices at Clement's Inn occupy 
twenty-three rooms, and a shop and thirteen rooms 
have also been taken for the Woman's Press at 156 
Charing Cross Road. There are also 105 local 
centres of the Union. The income of the central 
organisation of the W. S. P. U. during 19 10 was 
34,500 pounds excluding 9,000 pounds made by the 
Woman's press and many thousands collected by the 
local Unions. The twenty thousand pound cam- 
paign fund is now complete. 

The Conciliation Bill has been again introduced. 
Again its scope and title have been modified to please 
the "democrats." Its text now is: — 

Every woman possessed of a household qualification 
within the meaning of the representation of the people Act 
(1884) shall be entitled to be registered as a voter and when 
registered to vote for the county or borough in which the 
qualifying premises are situate. 

For the purposes of this Act a woman -shall not be dis- 
qualified by marriage from being registered as a voter pro- 
vided that a husband and wife shall not both be registered 
as voters in the same Parliamentary Borough or County 

IQIO 505 

In reply to a deputation of women who waited 
upon him in October, 19 10, Mr. Birrell said: " I 
am strongly of opinion that in the course of next 
year facilities must be given for the Bill. You 
are perfectly right,*' he added, " in feeling irritated 
and annoyed at the delay that has taken place and 
in insisting on a date for Parliamentary action." 

Mr. Asquith's promise is that facilities for a 
Women's Suffrage measure will be granted during 
this Parliament. Such statements as these must now 
be held as binding, and the long standing Govern- 
ment veto of this question must be withdrawn. 

So the gallant struggle for a great reform draws 
to its close. Full of stern fighting and bitter hard- 
ship as it has been, it has brought much to the 
women of our time — a courage, a self-reliance, a 
comradeship, and above all a spiritual growth, a 
conscious dwelling in company with the ideal, which 
has tended to strip the littleness from life and to 
give to it the character of an heroic mission. 

May we prize and cherish the great selfless spirit 
that has been engendered, and, applying it to the 
purposes of our Government — the nation's house- 
keeping — the management of our collective affairs, 
may we, men and women together, not in antago- 
nism, but in comradeship, strive on till we have built 
up a better civilisation than any that the world has 
known. For surely just as those children are for- 
tunate who have two parents, a mother and a 
father, to care for them, so is the nation fortunate 
that has its mothers and its fathers, its brothers and 
its sisters, working together for the common good. 



Aberdeen Free Press, i8o 

Abernethy meeting, 451 

Act of Charles II, 197 

Ainsworth, Miss, 441 

Albert Hall demonstration, 
445; first great meeting, 209; 
meeting, 41, 242, 464 

Aldwych theatre, 367 

Allen, Mary, 395 

Amery, L. S., 232 

Anderson, Dr. Garrett, 243, 502 

Anti-Corn Law League, 4 

Anti-Government by-election 
policy, 96 

Anti-SuflFrage Society first or- 
ganised, 147 

Appeal of Pankhurst and Hav- 
erfield, 467 

Archdale, Mrs., 451, 453 

Arrest of Alice Milne, 127 ; Ar- 
nold Cutler, 331; Christabel 
Pankhurst and Annie Ken- 
ney, 29; Daisy Solomon, 364; 
deputation at Official Resi- 
dence, 64; Irene Miller, 64; 
Isabel Kelley, 423; Lady 
Constance Lytton, 449; Mrs. 
Baines, 130, 325; Mrs. Des- 
pard, 361 ; Mrs. Lawrence, 
364; Mrs. Pankhurst and 
Mrs. Haverfield, 386; Victor 
Duval, 500 

Arrests at Birmingham, 428; 
at Bolton, 463; at Colston 
Hall, 461 ; at Crewe, 463 ; at 
Fifth Women's Parliament, 
270; at Guild Hall, 459; at 
Leicester, 4^2; at Lime 
House, 409; at Liverpool, 

463; at Manchester, 88; at 
Northampton, 85; at open- 
ing of Parliament, 103; at 
Rochester Row, 107 ; at Third 
Women's Parliament, 196; at 
Waterloo, 463; in Feb., 1907, 
139; on March 20, 1907, 155; 
on June 30, 1908, 254 
Asquith, Right Hon. Henry 
Herbert, 222, 360, 384, 4i9» 
426, 446, 459, 464, 475, 479, 
496 ; at Northampton, 81 ; 
letter to, 83; his "prisoners," 
96; becomes Prime Minis- 
ter, 222; views on Stanger 
Bill, 234; his windows 
stoned, 253; waylaid at 
Lympne, 420 
Ashton, Margaret, J^y 224 
Attercliffe by-election, 2>77 
Ayrton, Mrs. Hertha, 438, 502 


Baines, Mrs. Jennie, 130, 405, 

447, 483 ; arrest of, 325 ; trial 

of, 326 et seq. 
Bairstow, Mr., 326 
Baker, Mrs., 411 
Balfour, Lady Betty, 438 
Balfour, Sir Arthur, 8, 15, 18, 

40, 129, 499 
Balcarres, Lord, 371, 502 
Balgarnie, Florence, 233 
Banbury, Sir F. G., 219 
Bateson, Mrs. Mary, 75 
Battersea, a typical meeting, 

99; campaign, 100; meeting 

at, 328 
Baxter, Sir G., 231 
Beales, Edmund, 79 




Becker, Ljrdia, 4, 489 
Bedford Corn Excnange, 406 
Beerbohm, Max, 285 
Bell, Capt. Morrison, 184 
Bennett, Curtis, 143, 272, 273, 

276, 280, 281, 286, 476 
Benson, Mrs. Godfrey, 324 
Benson, T. D., letter irom, 89 
Bermondsey by-election, 456 
Berwick Women's Liberal 

Ass'n, 438 
Bertram, Julius, 127 
Bill for the Enfranchisement 

of Women first prepared, 8 
Bill introduced by Dickinson, 

Bilhngton, Theresa, 41, 65, 80, 

Binglet Hall Meeting, 426 

Birmingham, arrests at, 428; 
Daily Mail, 33; meeting at, 
328; prison, 431; Women's 
Liberal Ass'n, 438 

Birrell, Mr., 340, 421, 505 

Black, W. G., 146 

Blake, Lady, 438 

Boggart Hole Clough demon- 
stration, 175 

Bourchier, Dr. Helen, 192, 194 

Bovey Tracey meeting, 182 

Bow Street Police G)urt, trials 
at, 25^ ; trial of three leaders, 
271 ; imprisonment of three 
leaders, 266 

Brackenbury, Georgina, 196 

Brackenbury, Mane, 196, 292, 

Brackenbury, Mrs., 502 
Brackenbury, Sir Henry, 196 
Bradford, meeting at, 328 ; 

Shipley Glen meeting, 257 
Brailsford, H. N., 437, 456, 489 
Brailsford, Mrs. J. E. M., 448, 

Bramley, F., 146 

Branch, Mrs., 438 

Brand, Bessie, 405 

Brand, Sir David, 405 

Brawling Bill, 370, 372 

Brewster, Bertha, 379, 443 

Bright, Jacob, 4 

Bright, John, 313 

Bristol prison, 461 

British Medical Journal, 435 

Brown, Amelia, 459 

Brown, Kathleen, 448 

Bryce, J., 146 

Bull, Sir William, 203 

Burkitts, Hilda, 441 

Burns, John, 78, 99, 203, 277, 

314, 367, 428 
Burns, Lucy, 409, 411, 417 
Bury St. Edmunds by-election, 

Butler, Josephine, 55, 96 
Buxton, Sidney, 177, 184, 407 
By-election at Attercliffe, 377; 
Bermondsey, 456; Bury St. 
Edmunds, 165 ; Chelmsford, 
349; Cleveland, 423; Croy- 
den, rjy; Colne Valley, 163; 
Dumiriesburgh, 425 ; East 
Edinburgh, ^yy, Forfar, 377; 
Glasgow, ^yy ; Haggerston, 
257; Hawick Burghs, 377; 
Hexham, 157; Hull, 181; 
Jarrow, 161 ; Mid-Devon, 
181; Newcastle, 257; Oak- 
ham, 159; Peckham, 212; 
Pembrokeshire, 257 ; Rut- 
land, 157; Sheffield, 377; 
South Aberdeen, 146; South 
Edinburgh, 377 ; South Here- 
ford, 188 ; Stratf ord-on- 
Avon, 377; Stirling Burghs, 
238; Uppingham, 160; Wim- 
bledon, 169 
By-election policies, 95 et seq. 
By-elections and policies of 
Suffragettes, 166; results of, 

Cabinet meetings invaded, 176 
Cabinet Ministers called upon, 

Campbell, Rev. R. J., 341, 43^ 
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir 

Henry, 40, 150, 222; at Sun 
Hall meeting, 50; evades 
deputation, 63: heckled at 



Dunfermline, 175; receives 
deputation, 76 ^ 

Campaign at Battersea, 99; 
Cockermouth, 92; East Fife, 
97; Edinburgh, 174; Jarrow, 
161 ; Mid-Devon, 182 ; Peck- 
ham, 214; in Wales, 97; of 
Oct., 1905, 24 et seq.; of 
1906, 40 et seq. 

Can ford Park, 413 

Capper, Mabel, 409 

Carpenter, W. B., 231 

Carson, Sir Edward, 372 

Castioni case, the, 396 

Caxton Hall, meeting, 57; 
Parliament, 138 ; Second 
Women's Parliament, 152 ; 
Third Women's Parliament, 
192; Fifth Women's Parlia- 
ment, 266 

Cecil, Lord Robert, 123, 129, 

203, 351, 389, 468, 470 
Central office opened, 133 
Chains and padlocks, 329 
Chamberlain, Joseph, 314 
Chapin, Mrs., 458 
Chaplin, Henry, 169, 172 
Chapman, Hugh, 396 
Chatterton, Ada, 155 
Cheetham Hill meeting, 43 
Chelmsford by-election, 349 
Chelsea, meeting at, 328 
Chesterton, G. K., 13 
Chorlton Board of Guardians, 

Christmas in Holloway gaol, 

Churchill, Lord Randolph, 313, 

362, 413 
Churchill, Winston, 27, 133, 
219, 224, 253, 405, 422, 450, 
452, 460, 461, 493, 495; cam- 
paign against, 43 et seq.; 
at Cheetham meeting, 44; 
at Dundee, 227 
Clarke, Charles G., 219 
Clarkson, Florence, 405, 443, 

Clayton, Joseph, 361 

Classification of Holloway gaol 
prisoners, 123 

Cleveland by-election, 423 
Clifton, Durdham Downs meet- 
ing, 257 
Clive, Capt. Percy A., 189 
Clothing furnished in Hollo- 
way gaol. III 
Clyde, Constance, 155 
Cobbett, William, 390 
Cobden, Richard, 102 
Cockermouth by-election, 92 
Colne Valley by-election, 163 
Coleridge, Lord, 4 
Collecting funds, 208 • 

Colston Hall meeting, 461 
Conciliation Bill, 4^1 
Conciliation Committee, 489 
Conolly, Dr., 432 
Constable, A. H. B., 232 
Contrasting policies of Suffra- 
gists and Suffragettes, 172 
Cook, Mrs. Kennindale, 192 
Cooke, Florence, 394 
Cooper, Dr. George, 180, 457 
Corbett, Mrs. Frank, 451, 453 
Craig, Dr. Maiarice, 477 
Cremer speech against Suf- 
frage Resolution, 68 
Crewe, Lord, 416, 417 
Croft, Edward, 144 
Crombie, W. J., 232 
Croydon by-election, $77 
Cuckfield resolution, 237 
Curran, Peter, 163 
Cust, H. J. Cockayne, 457 
Cutler, Arnold, 331 - 


Daily Chronicle, 198, 239 
Daily Mail, ss* 214, 216 
Daily Mirror, Northampton, 86 
Daily News, 157, 180, 183, 237, 

Daily Telegraph, 388 
Davidson, Dr. W. A., 435 
Davies, Emily, 73, 243 
Davies, Llewellyn, 52 
Davison, Emily Wilding, 454, 

PeLegh, Miss, 416 



Demonstration at Boggart Hole 
Clough, 175; of protest on 
June 30, 1908, 250; of the 
unemployed, 263 . 

Deputations to Mr. Asquith, 81 
et seq. 

De Rutzen, Sir Albert, 192, 

364, 2,^7 y 390, 468 
Despard, Mrs., 102, 361, 475 
Dewsbury, 231 
Dickinson Bill, 147 
Dickinson, Sarah, 6, 53, 73 
Disguises utilised, 41 
Disorders at Newton Abbott, 

Dove-Wilcox, Mrs., 397, 401 

et seq. 

Drage, Jeffrey, 425 
. Drummond, Flora, 48 

Drummond, Mrs., 226, 446; ar- 
rest of, 64; opening London 
campaign, 56; at Eye by-elec- 
tion, 6y\ at third attack upon 
the House, 131 ; at Peckham, 
218; at the great Hyde Park 
meeting, 241 ; * in own de- 
fence at Bow Street, 320; 
in Holloway gaol, 2fZi 

Dumfries, Mr., 457 

Dumfriesburgh by-election, 425 

Dundee election, 227 

Dunfermline, heckling at, 175 

Duval, Victor, 500 

East Anglican Daily Times, 

East Edinburgh by-election, ^yy 

East Fife campaign, 97 

Eckford, Miss, 405 

Edinburgh campaign, 174; po- 
litical pageant, 445 

Edwards, Miss, 441 

Egbaston Woman's Liberal 
Ass'n, 438 

Ejected from House of Com- 
mons, 70 

Election address of Hon. Ber- 
trand Russell, 171 ; at Dun- 
dee, 228; at North West 
Manchester, 224; pledges, 179 

Elmy, Mrs. Wolstenholme, 16, 

Ervine, St. John G., 221 
Esler, Dr. Robert, 220 
Esperance Working-Girl's 

Club, 59 
Esslemont, G. B., 146 
Evans, Samuel, 69, 98, 326 
Eve, H. T., 184 
Evening News, 199 
Evening Standard, ss 
Exeter Hall meeting, 133 
Exhibition at Prince's Skating^ 

Rink, 375 
Eye by-election, 66 

Farrell, Mr. (M. P.), 332 

Fawcett, Mrs. Henry, 146 

Fenton, Dr. Hugh, 456 

Fenton, William Hugh, 434, 477 

Fenwick, Irene, 61 

Fifth Women's Parliament, 

Figner, Vera, 436 

Finch; H. G., 161 

First Albert Hall meeting, 209 

First Anti-Suffrage Society or- 
ganised, 147 

First arrest of Mrs. Pankhurst, 

First arrests, 29 

First imprisonments, 31 ; com- 
ments on, 3S ^^ ^^q- 

First Women's Suffrage open- 
air meeting in London, 79 

Folliero, Cemino, 155 

Food in Holloway gaol, 125 

Forcible feeding, 433, 440, 454, 
461, 481 

Fordham, Mr., 401 

Foreign Office, Deputation at, 

Forfar by-election, 377 
Formation of Women's Free- 
dom League, 173 
Fowler, Sir H., 232 
Eraser, Foster, 128 
Free Press, Aberdeen, 180 
Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 
meeting, 133 



Gannell, S. G., 231 

Gannell, S. J., 232 

Gardner, Alan C, 1^ 

Garnett, Theresa, 379 et seq., 

Gasson, Mrs., 74 

Gautrey, T., 219 

Gawthorpe, Mary, in Wales, 
98 ; early life, 99 ; at Upping- 
ham, 160; ejected from 
House of Commons, 102; 
222, 446 

General election of 1906, 40; 
of 1910, 488 

Gibson, Flora, 50 

Gladstone, Herbert, 69, 124, 
141, 178, 205, 240, 253, 278, 

293, 314, 33h 371, 3^3f 395, 

397, 404, 419, 435, 455 
Glasgow by-election, 277 J 

Evening Times, 198; St. 

Andrew*s Hall meeting, 51 
Gooch, C. A., 219, 221 
Gordon, Dr. Mary, 256 
Gore-Booth, Eva, 6, 53, y^ 
Goulden, Emmeline, 3 et seq. 
Gretton, J., 161 
Grey, Sir Edward, 25, 26, 193, 

Guest, Hon. F., 93 
Guild Hall arrests, 459 
Guinness, Hon. W., 165 


Haggerston by-election, 257 
Haig, Dr. Alexander, 43 
Haig, Florence, 195, 196 
Haldane, Mr., 177, 418, 499 
Hall, Leslie, ^80, 482 
Hambro, C. E., 172 
Hammersmith, meeting at, 328 
Harberton, Lady, 152 
Harcourt, Lewis, 178, 405, 463 
Harcourt, R. V., 232 
Hardie, Keir, 8, 12, 17, 18, 55, 
67, 127, 129, 135, 371, 383, 

433, 435, 502 
Hardy, Dr. Mabel, 155 

Harraden, Beatrice, 243 
Harvey, Capt. F. W., 165 
Haverfield, Mrs., 389, 467 
Hawick Burghs by-election, 377 
Hay, Claud, 141 
Hazleton, Mr. (M.P.), 371 
Heallis, Georgina, 419, 443 
Heally, Timothy, 476 
Heckling Campbell-Bannerman, 

Henle, Mr., 389 

Hexham by-election, 155 
Hollowaj' Gaol, 86, 109 et seq., 
332, 410; prisoners released 
from, 97; life in, 11$ et seq.; 
classes of prisoners in, 124 
et seg.; food in, 125; sick- 
ness in, 255 ; three leaders re- 
leased from, 356; Miss Wal- 
lace-Dunlop fasts in, 392 
Holloway, Mr. Justice, 470 
Holme, Vera, 383 
Horsley, Sir Victor, 434, 477 
House of Commons first 

closed to women, 58 
Housman, Qemence, 208 
Housman, Lawrence, 387 
Howard, Geoffrey, 365, 489 
Howard's Bill, 366 
Howells, W. D., 376 
Howey, Elsie, 256, 367, 419, 

Howey, Rose, 412 

Huddersfield by-election, 127 ; 
meeting, 257, 328 

Hudson, Miss, 479 

Hughes, Mrs. Hugh Price, 59 

Hughes, Spencer Leigh, 71, 163 

Hull by-election, 181 

Hunger strike, 392, 419 

Hunt, Violet, 208 

Hutton, Alfred, 239 

Hyde Park, great demonstra- 
tion, 241 et seq. 

Hyde, Sir Clarendon, 504 

Idris, T. H. W., 269 
Imprisonment, first, 31 
Independent Labor party, 5, 7 



Independent by-election policy, 

Indignation meeting at Cheet- 

ham Hill, 47 
Innes, P. Rose, 163 
Invasion of Cabinet meetings, 

Ipswich meeting, 348 

Jacobs, George, 501 
Jarrow by-election, 161 
Jarvis, Inspector, 265, 273, 278, 

385, 467 
Joachim, Maud, 196, 453 
Jolly, Miss C, 451, 453 
Joynson-Hicks, Mr., 226 


Keevil, Gladice, 202 

Kelley, Isabel, 422 

Kendall, James, 89 

Kennev, Annie, early life, 19; 
at the Manchester meeting, 
27; first arrested, 29; trial, 
30; at the Albert Hall meet- 
ing, 41 ; sets off to rouse 
London, 54; member London 
Committee, 61 ; arrested, 64 ; 
at Trafalgar Square, 80; in 
East Fife, 97; at Jarrow, 
162; again arrested, 202; at 
Albert Hall meeting, 211; 
and Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman, 222; at North 
Bristol, 340: at Queen's Hall, 
357; at Canfield Park, 413 

Kenney, Jessie, 322, 362, 419, 

Kensington, 242 

Kerr, Miss, 322 

Kerr, Thomas, 417 

Kincardineshire, 231 

Kinnaird Hall meeting, 543 

Kirby, Dr Ernest Dormer, 477 

Knightsbridge, ^7^ 

Lambert, Lena, 253 
Lancet, The, 432 

Law, Hugh, 383 

Lawrence, Mrs. Pethick, 58, 
61 ; in Yorkshire, 97 ; at 
Parliament opening, 1906, 
loi ; publishes Women's' 
Franchise, 174; at Albert 
Hall meeting, 212; and Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman, 
222; and the great Hyde 
Park demonstration, 241 ; 
writes to Lloyd-George, 259; 
in Clement's Inn office, ^22 ; 
arrested and imprisoned, 364 ; 
speaks at Aldwych theatre, 
368; at Prince's Skating 
Rink, 373; raising funds, 501 

Lawson, R. G., 436 

Lawson, Sir Wilfred, 93 

Leaders arrested, 264 

Leeds, Herbert Gladstone at, 
178; meeting at Woodhouse 
Moor, 257 

Leicester meeting, 257 

Leigh, Mrs. Mary, 155, 253, 
254, 281, 339, 356, 375, 410, 
418, 426, 439, 447, 459 

Leigh, Spencer, 457 

Letter from T. D. Benson, 89 

Levy, Sir Maurice, 151 

Lewis, Windsor, 425 

Liberal Daily Chronicle, 142 

Life in Holloway gaol, 117 et 

Lime House, Lloyd-George at, 
407 et seq. 

Linnell, Alfred, 79 

Littlehampton, 59 

Liverpool Courier, 418, 421 

Liverpool, Sun Hall meeting, 

Lloyd-George, Mr., 51, 81, 178, 
252, 258, 259, 267, 276, 281, 
340, 342, 407, 447, 448, 478, 

London By-Stander, 216 

London Committee organised, 

London Daily Chronicle, 248; 
Daily Express, 248; Daily 
News, 221, 436, 445; Daily 
Telegraph, 220; Globe, 347'; 



Standard, 216, 236, 248, 347; 
Star, 2l%y 2.2,7 \ Times, 248, 
258, 424 

London, opening of campaign 
in 1906, 54 

Long, Walter, 17, 267 

Long's Bill for relief of un- 
employed, 17 

Louth town-hall meeting, 479 

Lyon, W. F., 161 

Lytton, Lady Constance, 300, 

364, 447, 483 
Lytton, Lord, 489, 500 


McClellan, Miss, 362 
McLaren, Eva, 73 
McLaren, Lady, 343 
McLaren, Sir Charles, y^, 151, 

McNeill, R., 146 
Macaulay, Miss F. E., 301 
MacDonald, Mrs. Meredith, 


MacDougal, Mrs. August, 130 

Macquire, Dr. Miller, 306 

Maidenhead meeting, 349 

Maloney, Miss, 228 

Manchester, campaign of 1906, 
48, 87; Churchill at Free 
Trade Hall, 133; Courier, 
388; Daily Despatch, 389; 
demonstration at Boggart 
Hole Clough, 17s; Evening 
Standard, S3\ Guardian, 187, 
224, 256, 347; Heaton Park 
meeting, 257; meeting at, 24, 
328; protest of members 
from, 129; "riot," 18 

Manchester Women's Suffrage 
Committee, 4, 5 

Mansell-Moullin, Dr. C., 434, 

Margate Women's Liberal 

Ass'n, 341 
Marion, Kitty, 448 
Married Women's Property 

Committee, 4 
Marsden, Dora, 367, 446, 462 
Marsh, Charlotte, 431, 465 

Martel, Mrs. Nellie Alma, 13, 

16, 61, 185 
Martin, Selina, 480, 482 
Martyn, Mrs. How, 103 
Marylebone Police Court, 193 
Massy, Col., 300 
Masterman, Mr., 433 
Matters, Muriel, 329, 363 
May, Mrs., 300 
Mechanics' Hall, Jarrow, 162 
Meeting at Bovey Tracey, 182; 
at Caxton Hall, 57; Clieet- 
ham Hill, 43; Durdham 
Downs, Clifton, 257; Heaton 
Park, 257 ; Huddersfield, 257 ; 
Ipswich, 348; Leicester, 257-; 
Maidenhead, 349; Newcastle, 
258; Peckham Rye, 212; 
Rawtenstall, 257; St. An- 
drew's Hall, Glasgow, 51 ; 
Sheffield Drill Hall, 51; 
Shipley Glen, 257; Sun Hall, 
Liverpool, 50 ; Woodhouse 
Moor, 257; of protest in 
House of Commons lobby, 
Mid-Devon by-election, 181 
Militant tactics, inauguration 

of, 27 
Miller, Irene, 64, 103 
Milne, Alice, 127 
Montrose Boroughs, 232 
Mooney, Mr. (M.P.), 371 
Morley, J., 232 
Morley, Lord, 446 
Morrissey, Mrs., 129 
Moxey, Dr. Anderson, 432 
" Mud March," 135 
Munro, Miss, 193 
Murphy, Agnes, 30"? 
Murray, A., 231 
Murray, Dr. Flora, 435 
Murray, James, 304 
Murray, Mr. (M.P.), 266 
Muskett, Inspector, 272 et seq., 


Naylor, Marie, 195, 196 
Neal, Mary, 59, 61 



Neilans, Miss Allison, 458 
Neligan, Miss, 383, 502 
Nevison, Henry, 300, 437, 456 
New, Miss, 191, 253 
Newcastle by-election, 257 
Newton Abbott campaign, 182 
Ninth Women's Parliament, 

Non-Militant Suffragettes in 

1906 campaign, 52 
North Bristol, 340 
North London Police Court, 


North West Manchester elec- 
tion, 224 

Northampton, Asquith at, 81 ; 
Daily Mirror, 86 


Oakham by-election, 159 

Officers of Women's Freedom 
League, 173 

Official Residence, 61 ; closed to 
deputation, 63 

Ogston, Helen, 344, 349 

O'Hanlon, J,, 163 

Oldham Independent Labour 
Party, 19 

Open-air meeting, first in Lon- 
don, 79 

Opening of Parliament, au- 
tumri, 1908, 261 

Organising the great Hyde 
Park demonstration, 241 

Original Women's Enfran- 
chisement Bill, 10 et seq. 

Osier, Catherine C, 437 

Pall Mall Gazette, 216 
Palmer, Sir C. M., 163 
Pankhurst, Adela, 103, 405, 417, 

451, 453 
Pankhurst, Christabel, early 
life, 5, et seq.; at Manches- 
ter meeting, 29 ; first arrested, 
29 ; convicted and imprisoned, 
31; in prison, 2f^] at Cheet- 
ham Hill meeting, 45 ; reply 
to Mr. Asquith, 235; again 

arrested, 263; Bow Street 
trial, 271 et seq.; speaks in 
own defence, 306; in Hol- 
loway gaol, 33 ; released 
from Holloway, 356 

Pankhurst, Dr. Richard Mars- 
den, 4, ^7 et seq. 

Pankhurst, Harry, 48 

Pankhurst, Mrs., marriage, 5; 
at opening of Parliament, 
1906, 102; attacked at New- 
ton Abbott, 186; first ar- 
rested, 202; trial at West- 
minster Police Court, 204 ; at 
Peckham, 218 ; delegation ex- 
cluded from House of Com- 
mons, 250; again arrested, 
263; Bow Street trial, 271 et 
seq.; speaks in own defence 
at Bow Street, 315; in Hol- 
loway gaol, 333; released 
from Holloway, 356; ap- 
peals under Act of Charles 
II, 467 et seq.; leads depu- 
tation to House of Com- 
mons, 501 

Parliament, autumn session of 
1906, loi et seq.; of 1908, 
260; proceedings over Dick- 
inson Bill, 151 

Paul, Alice, 416, 417, 459 

Peacock, William, 26 

Pearson, Harold, 66, 161 

Peckham by-election, 212 

Pembrokeshire by-election, 257 

Pethick, Dorothy, 435, 448 

Pethick, Henry, 58 

Peters, Naici, 155 

Phillips, Mary, 253, Z7^, 412 

Pickford, Justice, 327 

Pitt, Lane Fox, 327 

Pledge of Women's Freedom 
League, 173 

Plural Voting Bill, 76, 129 

Police outrages at Northamp- 
ton, 85 

Powell, Sir Richard Douglas, 

436. 477 
Preston meeting, 463 
Private Members Reform Bill, 




Priiv;e*s skating rink, 372 
Protest, first meeting of, 16; 

of Manchester members, 129 
Provincial meetings, 257 
Public Meeting Bill, 351 
Publication of Votes for 

Women, 174; of Women's 

Franchise J 174 


Raid on House of Commons, 

Rainy, Mrs. Rolland, y^^ 
Randies, Sir John, 93 
Rawtenstall meeting, 257 
Redmond, John, 69 
Redmond, Willie, 69 
Reform Act of 1884, 78 
Reid, Mrs. S., 438 
Release from Holloway gaol, 

Remnant, Mrs., 329 
Rendall, Sergeant-Ma j or, 187 
Results of by-elections of 

1907, 166 
Review of Reviews, 71 
Rigby, Mrs., 198 
Robertson, E., 231 
Robertson, J. M., 148 * 
Robins, Elizabeth, 99, 243 
Robinson, Rona, 443, 446 
Robson, Henry, 231 
Robson, Sir William, 326 
Roe, Mrs. Lucy, 55 
Rochester Row Police Court, 

Rock fort, Henri, 3 
Rochfort, Noemie, 3 
Roper, Esther, 6 
Rosebery, Lord, 253 
Rosendale Valley, 178, 463 
Ross by-election, 189 
Ross, Dr. Forbes, 434 
Rothera, C. L., 406 
Royal College of Art, 11 
Ruiland by-election, 157 
Runciman, Mr., 231, 454, 499 
Runciman, Sir Walter, 448 
" Rush " defined, 310 
Rushford Hall, 415 

Russell, Bertrand, 169, 172 
Russell, Dr., 432 

St. Andrew's Hall, Glasgow, 

51, 416 
Salter, Dr., 457 
Samuel, Herbert, 406, 422, 423, 

Sanderson, Mrs. Cobden, 102, 

104, 475, 502 

Scantlebury, Inspector, 250, 384 

Scotsman, The, 388 

Scottish Churches Bill, 18 

Scottish women contend for 
enfranchisement, 358 

Scrymageour, E., 231 

Second term in Holloway gaol, 

Sentences in Bow Street Po- 
lice Court, 281 

Seventh Women's Parliament, 

Shackleton, E., 231 
Shalland, Dorothy, 448 
Sharp, Evelyn, 208, 243, 301 
Shaw, Dr. Anna, 243 
Sheffield Drill Hall meeting, 51 
Sherwood, Arthur, 128 
Shipley Glen meeting, 257 
Sickert, Mrs. Cobden, 104 
Simons, Margaret Travers, 269 
Sinclair, May, 208 
Slack, Bamford, 11 
Smillie, Robert, 93, 94 
Smith, A. D., 231 
Smith, Frank, 55 
Smith, Horace, 104, 203, 292, 

Smith, Margaret, 417 
Smith, Miss Eraser, 423 
Smith, Olivia, 191 
Smith, Thorley, 53 
Snowden, Mr., 498 
Solomon, Daisy, 362, 364 
Solomon, Mrs. Saul, 366, 383 
Sothall, Gertrude E., 437 
South Aberdeen by-election, 

South African war, 17 



South Edinburgh by-election, 

Southport meeting, 462 

Sperborough, Mrs., 85 

Spiridorvna, Marie, 91 

Spong, Florence, 393 

Spratt, Col., 232 

Stanger, H. Y., 204 

Statute of Charles II, 379, 468 

Steel, Flora Annie, 438 

Stewart, G. H., 231 

Stirling Burghs by-election, 238 

Strangeways gaol, 422, 454, 478 

Strangeways, H. B. T., 438 

Strat ford-on- A von by-election, 

Suffragists and Suffragettes, 

contrast of policies of, 172; 

meeting at Albert Hall, 242 ; 

new policy at by-elections, 

166 et seq. 
Sun Hall meeting, 50, 418 
Sussex Daily News, 71 
Swansea, Lloyd-George heckled 

at, 259 

Taylor, Paul, 87 

Tennant, Dr., 432 

Testimony of Herbert Glad- 
stone, 293; of Inspector Jar- 
vis, 278; of James Murray, 
M.P., 304; of Lloyd-George, 
282; of Mary Brackenbury, 
292; of Superintendent Wells, 

" The Sundial," 59 

The Nation, 221 

Thomas, Rev. J. M. Lloyd, 437 

Thompson, Whitely, 189 

Three leaders in Holloway 

gaol, 332 
Thorley, Mr., 458 
Thorne, G., 232 
Thorne, Will, 262, 277, 281 
Tickets to meetings refused, 40 
Titterington, Mrs., 198 
Tolson, Helen, 415 
Trafalgar Square, 55, 79 

Trial, at Manchester, 30; at 
Marylebone Police Court, 
194; at Rochester Police 
Court, 104 et seq.; at West- 
minster Police Court, 142 et 
seq.; of Mrs. Pankhurst after 
first arrest, 204; under the 
Act of Charles II, 198 

Trials at Westminster Police 
Court, 155, 197 

Tuke, Mrs., 322, 342, 393 

Turner, B., 231 


Unemployed, Bill for the re- 
lief of, 17; Manchester up- 
rising, 18 
Unwin, Mrs. Cobden, 104 
Uppingham by-election, 160 

Victoria women enfranchised, 

" Votes for Women " first 

adopted, 7, 8 

Votes for IV omen, publication 

of, 174 


*' Wakes Week," 23 
Wallace-Dunlop, Miss, 267, ^^^y, 

381, 391, 392 
Wallasey Women's Liberal 

Ass'n, 341 
Walton gaol, 479, 481, 484 
Wales, campaign in, 98 
Warton, Jane, 483 
Wason Cathcart, 204 
Watson, Mrs., 75 
Waylaying the Council, 362 
Webster, Alexander, 180 
Wells, Supt. of Police, 274, 276 
Wentworth, Vera, 412, 419 
Westminster Gazette, 350 
Westminster Police Court, 131, 

142, 197, 204, 253 
Wilkie, Alex., 231 
Williams, T. R., 128 
Wilson, J. H., 148 



Wimbledon by-election, 169 
Winslow, Dr. Forbes, 432, 435 
Win son Green gaol, 433, 439, 

Wolverhampton, 2$2 

Women first refused admission 
to House of Commons, 58 

Women's Disabilities Removal 
Bill, 4 

Women's Enfranchisement Bill, 
Asquith's views on, 234; dis- 
cussed, 205 et seq. 

Women's Franchise, publica- 
tion of, 174 

Women's Franchise League, 
formation, 5 

Women's Freedom League, 173, 

Women's Liberal Federation, 


Women's Social and Political 
Union, 7 

Women's Suffrage Resolution 
placed in House of Com- 
mons, 67 

Woodhousel, Sir J. T., 129 

Woodlock, Patricia, 155, ^67^ 

Wurrie, Evelyn, 443 

Yates, W. B., 165 

Yorkshire Weekly Post, 388 

Yoxall, Alice, 437 

Zangwill, Israel, 135